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GeoQinetiq Completes Continuously Operating Reference Station

November 23, 2009
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria accepted the completion of the State’s first operational Continuously Operating Reference Station by the Nigerian based company – GeoQinetiq Limited.

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria (19/10/2009) accepted the completion of the State’s first operational Continuously Operating Reference Station by the Nigerian based company – GeoQinetiq Limited. With this system, Lagos State Government has again blazed a trail in establishing world-class, ultra modern technologies to provide a solid basis for the transformation of the State and providing the technological foundations for successful implementation of the Lagos Mega City Project. In the words of the Managing Director of the company – Juliet Ezechie, "this initiative will help build a new Lagos infrastructure; help in tackling land management, poor town planning practices and contribute to alleviating road congestion, road safety, and improving public transport".

BACKGROUND:

In June, 2007, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babtunde Raji Fashola SAN set up a five man Advisory Committee of experts to deliver a fully digital mapping and enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS) for Lagos State. This committee had the former Surveyor- General of the State, Surveyor M. A. O. Durowoju as Chairman. That Committee was mandated to examine and recommend the best sustainable mapping and GIS solution for Lagos State.

The report of the Advisory Committee was presented to the Executive Council meeting of Monday 10th September 2007 and a Technical Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Femi Hamzat, the Hon. Commissioner for Science and Technology was constituted to examine and recommend the best sustainable mapping and GIS solution for Lagos State.

For convenience and operational effectiveness, the Lagos State Digital Mapping/Enterprise GIS was broken into seven major components and contracts awarded:

1. Geodetic Control and Digital Aerial Photo Acquisition;
2. Determination of Geoid Model and Establishment of Continuous Operating Reference Station (CORS);
3. Orthophoto, Contour lines and Digital (vector) Mapping;
4. GIS Database and Enterprise GIS;
5. Bathymetry Survey of Lagos Lagoons and Creeks;
6. Supply of Equipment and Training;
7. Public Enlightenment & Education.

Thus, GeoQinetiq Limited – the leading geophysical, geospatial and logistics solutions provider in Nigeria was contracted to design, install, commission and train GIS and Geomatic professionals from the office of the Surveyor-General of Lagos State in the operations of the State’s first public Continuously Operating Reference Station.

Geomatics - is what the subject of surveying has evolved into - combines the internet, satellite navigation and telematics, and encompassing all areas of data collection and interpretation, ranging from the basic mapping of land to the ability to track and map the movement of individuals and objects globally in real time.

To deliver this project, GeoQinetiq teamed up with Leica Geosystems to supply the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) reference stations and networking software under a Lagos State plan to create a network of permanently installed Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS). The system is based on the ultra-modern, ‘future-proof’ Leica GRX1200GG GNSS reference station receiver, along with Spider GPS network control software, which will be incorporated into an integrated network of base stations deployed at strategic locations across Lagos State, providing very high-accuracy real-time and post processed data for a wide range of surveying and construction applications.

The major advantage of a CORS is that by definition, it operates continuously from a permanent and stable location; it tracks dozens of GPS and GLONASS Satellites and receives and stores the data transmitted by the satellites in real time; the software monitors the performance of CORS equipment at the reference station; the software further manages the data, processes it and removes all errors and transmits this data to all users in Lagos State in real-time. The CORS data will be made available to Lagos State MDAs, contractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors for collecting and validating position information in the field throughout the State.

GNSS CORS are an important enhancement to a wide range of GNSS surveying, mapping, and positioning activities. They can improve the efficiency and accuracy (under 1 cm) of surveyed positions, as well as helping to deliver a host of derived data products that in turn make possible additional GNSS applications.

The CORS network being built by GeoQinetiq Limited for Lagos State is envisaged to encompass up to 10 stations, and will eliminate the need for surveyors to establish local control or set up temporary field reference stations at specific job sites, which is both rime consuming and exposes their equipment to risks like theft or accidental damage.

The CORS data will be made available to Lagos State MDAs, State contractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors for collecting and validating position information in the field throughout the State.

The Spider GPS software is designed to fulfil all requirements for the management, operation and continuous monitoring of a network of GPS reference stations. It handles all aspects of configuration and control for local and unattended remote GPS sensors, periodic data downloads from sensors, data archiving and distribution, system monitoring and data logging. Incorporated in the Spider GNSS software is the SpiderNet module, which provides enhanced real-time network analysis and error modelling over all reference stations. As GNSS technology continues to evolve, the Lagos State CORS network will play an increasingly more important role Civil Aviation, Transport, Civil Engineering, etc.