Leica Geosystems announced the introduction of GradeStar V5.0, a fifth-generation 3D grader and dozer automation system for the construction industry.

GradeStar V5.0 incorporates advances in hardware and software, providing a versatile easy-to-use machine automation system on a reliable ruggedized hardware platform.

The new GradeStar V5.0 software is based on the industry standard Controller Area Network (CAN) interface and utilizes the WinXP operating system. It features a new consolidated sensor module, the GSM5, which is designed to be a central communications point between positioning sensors and the GradeStar interface. The GSM5 can be configured with an internal GPS module for space savings and ease of installation. The component design facilitates removal for exchange between machines.

GradeStar V5.0 can work with Leica's total stations and GPS positioning sensors, for maximum flexibility and unmatched grade accuracy. The system has full forward and backward compatibility with Leica's existing 2D and 3D machine automation products, including the GS496, ProControl, SonicMaster and MC1200, offering an easy upgrade path to the new state-of-the-art technology.

GradeStar is designed as a simple tool for machine operators and site managers. Leica's Site Manager software, together with GradeStar's system simulator streamlines projects by allowing the user to view, check and analyze the jobsite before starting the grading operation. System indicators can be activated and sensors switched with one touch of a button, while a live moving map guides cutting and filling operations. A universal control panel reduces operator training when moving from machine to machine.

GradeStar V5.0 retains all of the popular user features from earlier versions of GradeStar, including a mast tilt compensator which allows the operator to tilt the blade forward and backward on the grader. Automatic side shift is also a feature that controls the blade in and out automatically to maintain a break line edge.

Source: Leica Geosystems, Sept. 22, 2005