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overview The design, surveying, and construction of a new tramline for the bustling port city of Antwerp, Belgium, posed many challenges for the surveyors of the multidiscipline engineering and construction firm BAM Contactors. The Noorderlaan (North Line) project included 6 kilometers of track, two bridges and new car and train tunnels connecting to an existing tram station. Adding to the complexity was the excavation of a historic 14th-century battlement: the "Spanish Wall." BAM preserved this archeological treasure, incorporating pedestrian bridges and viewing galleries into the project design. Location ANTWERP, BELGIUM. TRANSFORMING THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS THE CHALLENGE The complex interfaces between old and new required highly detailed surveys of existing features for the design phase, and rapid as-built surveys during the construction phase. BAM Contactors began the project using a mix of conventional surveying, with their robotic total stations, while a subcontractor collected point cloud data using conventional high-end laser scanners. The engineers were not satisfied with the scanning results: the issues included large and unwieldy scans, poor registration to existing project elements, and a slow turnaround for new scan requests. To address these issues, BAM Contractor surveyors Niels Balens and Johan Egerickx searched for a better link between point clouds and other precisely surveyed data. They found it in a new class of instrument: the recently released TrimbleĀ® SX10 scanning total station. "We had to do a lot of small on-demand scans for the engineers," said Egerickx. "They would ask for new measurements in different parts of the station, and we could go there, set up the SX10, and perform a scan that was completely registered in resection. We delivered this to the engineers immediately."

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