Jump to content
Structural Community
Sign in to follow this  
Azhar Shahzad

Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) - History and Modern Surveying

Recommended Posts

History of Electronic Distance Measurement

In surveying distance measurements were always a challenge for surveyors specially when long distances were to be measured with high accuracy. In 1950 scientist tried to calculate the distance by using light beam to travel over unknown distance with measured time.

Ordinary lights travels at a velocity of 186,000 miles per second, therefore the time taken will be very small to cover a short distance . This idea was soon dropped but the scientists succeeded in finding a low velocity light beam in form of Infra Red Rays generated by solid state Gallium Arsenide Diode (GAD). This was put into laboratory experimentation in 1960 and finally instrument called Electronic Distance Measurement came into existence. Initially the instruments were very expensive but as the demand increased the price was within the reach of most professionals.

Revolution in Surveying due to EDM

Modern EDM equipment contains hard-wired algorithms for reducing the slope distance to its horizontal and vertical equivalent. For most engineering surveys, Total stations combined with electronic data loggers are now virtually standard equipment on site. Basic theodolites can be transformed into total stations by add-on, top-mounted EDM modules. The development of EDM has produced fundamental changes in surveying procedures e.g

  • Traversing on a grandiose scale, with much greater control of swing errors, is now a standard procedure.
  • The inclusion of many more measured distances into triangulation, rendering classical triangulation obsolete. This results in much greater control of scale error.
  • Setting-out and photogrammetric control, over large areas, by polar coordinates from a single base line.
  • Offshore position fixing by such techniques as the .
  • Deformation monitoring to sub-millimeter accuracies using high-precision EDM

The latest developments in EDM equipment provide plug-in recording modules, capable of recording many thousand blocks of data for direct transfer to the computer. There is practically no surveying operation which does not utilize the speed, economy, accuracy and reliability of modern EDM equipment. For example the EDM instrument Model # LEICA RM100 BUILDER POWER have the following particulars,

  • Absolute circle reading
  • Laser plummet
  • Endless drives
  • 30x magnification
  • Dual-Axis compensation
  • High resolution LCD display
  • Electronic laser distance measurement
  • Graphic sketches
  • EDM measurement with red laser on target
  • Upload and transfer data
  • Data editing and exchange
  • Connectivity to 3rd party devices

Hence, the advent of EDM equipment has completely revolutionized all surveying procedures, resulting in a change of emphasis and techniques. Taping distance, with all its associated problems, has been rendered obsolete for all base-line measurement. Distance can now be measured easily, quickly and with great accuracy, regardless of terrain conditions.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ganesh Bist
In all EDM Instrument What is the velocity of Electromagnetic Wave? could you please help me.
Next question. In map the smallest line we can drew?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest atb

I'll toss out a question...

Long story short, I need a way to accurately measure position (& relative position in space) of multiple factors over a range of meter/yards with resolution of millimeters/100th of inch or better. This system monitors position of wheel/vehicle in contrast to a variable road surface. I can measure the wheel/vehicle via dual continuous 9 axis monitoring in real time but I also need a way to precisely measure the distance from a known height of sensor to the variable road surface to determine how the vehicle's suspension system should behave.

Any ideas?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.