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Over the past few months, Topcon Positioning Systems has picked up some significant government contracts for the supply of precision positioning equipment for critical public infrastructure.

They include:
• 450 NET-G3 receivers to Japan’s Geographical Survey Institute as part of a major upgrade to its GPS Earth Observation Network System (GEONET)
• The supply of GNSS CORS receivers and GNSS choke ring antennas for an earthquake prediction system in China
• Supplying 14 sets of Net-G3 CORS receivers and CR-G3 GNSS choke ring antennas to the Beijing Meteorological Bureau (BJMB), for use in the Beijing ground-based GPS-PWV (Precipitable Water Vapor) detection system project.

According to Bob Bent, Executive Director with Australian Topcon distributor Position Partners, these contracts indicate public sector confidence in Topcon products, technology and innovation for critical projects.

“Whether it’s earthquake prediction, weather forecasting or providing key elements for a major CORS network upgrade, major government agencies in Japan and China have opted for Topcon product excellent and engineering expertise,” said Bob.

“Likewise in Australia, we are finding increasing numbers of government agencies and departments choosing Topcon products — not only for their technological excellence and reliability, but also because they offer a ‘future-proof’ way forward to forthcoming new technology.”

More details of these recent contracts are as follows.

Japanese GSI reference stations contract

Topcon’s selection by the Geographical Survey Institute (GSI), an affiliate of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), to supply 450 GPS reference stations, as well as new software and a database system for the GPS Earth Observation Network System (GEONET) operated by GSI.

In 1992, GSI initiated the introduction of a GPS Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) known as GEONET. As of March 2009, nationwide 1236 stations are in place throughout Japan, providing precise positioning data to the public.

Today the GEONET is a vital infrastructure of the country, providing GPS data for diverse applications such as surveying, construction, GIS, weather forecasting, among others. It also provides the real-time observation data of earth’s crustal movement for the purpose of researches in earthquake and volcanic activities.

In this project, GSI is replacing 450 old receivers with Topcon’s NET-G3 series incorporating the latest tracking technology for currently planned L2C and L5 GPS signals. Topcon will also develop GPS observation/control software as well as a database management system exclusively designed for the GEONET.

It is expected the new systems will be in operation by the end of March 2010.

With the recent ordering of an additional 90 new Topcon receivers, more than 35% of the GEONET network will implement Topcon NET-G3 series receivers.

Earthquake prediction system in China

Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) has been selected to supply GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) receivers for the Crustal Movement Observation Network of China (CMONOC).

Topcon will supply 132 campaign-mode (portable) GNSS CORS receivers and GNSS choke ring antennas for CMONOC. 
The CMONOC project was established by the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) of the People’s Republic of China, to monitor crustal deformation and to predict earthquakes using GNSS technology.

In the context of the devastating Wenchuan Earthquake (8.0 on Richter scale) in 2008, the Chinese government hopes to use state-of-the-art technologies to enhance disaster-relief capability. CEA used the equipment to re-measure more than 2000 ground monuments throughout China in 2009.

Crustal deformation is measured by tracking the movement of points on the Earth's surface, ground tilt and strain, as well as fault slip. The Topcon Net-G3 family of receivers will be used to record geodetic data for the CMONOC in campaign mode, also known as portable, episodic or survey mode.

The Topcon Net-G3 family of receivers being used by CMONOC incorporate Topcon G3 technology, which allows for universal signal tracking compatible with all existing and planned satellite navigation systems. 

Weather forecasting project for Beijing

Topcon has supplied 14 sets of Net-G3 CORS receivers and CR-G3 GNSS choke ring antennas to the Beijing Meteorological Bureau (BJMB), for use in the Beijing ground-based GPS-PWV (Precipitable Water Vapor) detection system project.

The Net-G3 family of receivers incorporate Topcon G3 technology which allows for universal signal tracking compatible with all existing and planned satellite navigation systems.

Topcon’s relationship with BJMB goes back to 2006, when the Bureau established its first 14 GPS CORS as a pilot project in Fangshan District and Huairou District of Beijing City, using Topcon CORS receivers.

This pilot system was used to provide weather forecasts during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The 14 receivers are being deployed in Yanqing District and Miyun District of Beijing, where two major water reservoirs are located, to detect precipitable water vapor in the atmosphere above the area and improve the weather forecast service to the public.

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