In the temperate rainforest of the Los Lagos region of southern Chile, where two thirds of the days are rainy, the dense forest canopy is a huge challenge for GNSS receivers.

One surveying firm, Motivazion, headquartered in Puerto Montt, a port city just below the rainforests, makes its living surveying under the densely canopied forest and rugged terrain.  The firm recently conducted field tests to determine which brand of GNSS receivers excels in the challenging conditions.

Motivazion’s owner, Jorge Mesias, said he typically uses a combination of total stations and GNSS receivers for his work.  “If understory performance could be improved, efficiency would increase dramatically and reduce the need for using the more time consuming total station,” Mesias says. “We had been having generally poor results with our current GNSS receiver, that’s why I decided to examine several additional competing brands.”

Field tests were conducted in the nearby Lake Rupanco area near a small town of the same name. A light rain fell steadily during the two-day test, which consisted of surveying 21 points.  Results were compared to points established by a total station. 

Base stations were set up in a small area cleared for the purpose and the rovers moved from point to point under the canopy.  The SP80 achieved fixed solutions in less than three minutes 95 percent of the time. “The SP80 was the clear winner among the GNSS receivers as it achieved remarkable results compared to the benchmark total station results,” Mesias says.  Geocom S.A., Spectra Precision’s dealer in Chile, provided the SP80 and technical support.

Motivazion Ltd. was founded in 2007 to provide technical consulting to foreign investors, particularly hydropower and other infrastructure developers.  To achieve its goals in the complex surveying environment of southern Chile, Motivazion employs highly trained personnel and the latest GNSS technologies.

Spectra Precision is an established brand known for delivering quality products to the construction market. Focusing on the specific needs of the conventional surveying market, the Spectra Precision brand offers a complete product portfolio, including Global Navigation Satellite Systems, Global Positioning Systems, optical total stations, data collection hardware, and field and office software, as well as a wide range of construction tools.