Integrating global positioning system with laser technology to capture as-built information during open-cut construction

Alpeshkumar Patel, Allan Chasey, Samuel Ariaratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The construction industry is continuing to face the challenge of properly identifying existing underground utilities prior to engaging in new construction or renovation projects. Contractors need to know the precise location of existing underground utilities to increase the efficiency of the construction process and to reduce the likelihood of utility strike and interruptions. This research outlines a methodology to assist field personnel in the collection of underground utility location data that can be accomplished accurately and consistently, in a minimal amount of time, with less effort, while maintaining safety protocols. This novel process aims to create a framework to develop a permanent data collection and storage solution. The research examined various methodologies to improve the positional accuracy of underground utilities through integration of global positioning systems and laser technology. The integrated technology was tested in both a controlled environment and under actual construction field conditions. The results demonstrate that the three-dimensional position of underground utilities constructed by open trenchless methods can be collected by a single personnel using integrated technologies within an accuracy of ±450 mm (±1.5 ft). Furthermore, the positional data of a 30 m (100 ft) long utility line can be collected within approximately 15 min including time taken for setup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 15 2010


  • Damage prevention
  • GPS
  • Laser
  • Underground utilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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