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Virtual mapping for Dubai Virtual Reference System to be completed in June

The Survey Section of the Planning and Survey Department at Dubai Municipality will complete the Dubai Virtual Reference System (DVRS) project in June this year.

The system comprises five active base stations distributed in Dubai, including Hatta, and a master control station located at Dubai Municipality, all working on a permanent 24-hour basis.

Abdulla Al Habbai, Head of the municipality’s Survey Section, said after the project is commissioned, customers could use the system for different applications such as survey operations, engineering projects, navigation, hydrographic surveys, photogrammetry, geological investigations, mineral and oil explorations, crustal movements, earthquake hazards and for precise equipment location.

At the start of a survey, the Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver (the Rover) calculates its provisional position within a few metres. A GSM data module is then used to transfer the user position to the central computer at the master control station. A valid correctional data, which defines the actual user position, will be calculated at the master station and then transferred to the user through GSM.

All this is achieved at the press of a button at the master station. The system has already been tested and it was found that it is much different from the previous equipment in use. The expected accuracy is of the order of 1-2cm in planimetry and 3-5cm in altimetry.

Al Habbai said the system saves time, effort and material expenditure. “Earlier, we had to spend Dh250,000 for one job using four personnel and two GPS survey items, whereas it has now been reduced to Dh70,000 by using just one surveyor and one GPS rover with higher precision,” he said.

He said the work at some places was affected earlier by satellite signal obstruction whereas this problem has been reduced through the new system by selecting proper places for the stations with less impact from high-rise buildings and the movement of heavy trucks and containers.

Abdulla said that the engineering survey companies, contractors, consultants, port authorities and the civil defence will be able to use this system and increase their output.