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Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) recently launched its IP-S2 vehicle-mounted, mobile 3D precision mapping and survey system. The IP-S2 combines dual-frequency GNSS signal tracking and positioning and inertial measurement to integrate laser scanning and digital imaging.

Using 3D laser scanners, LIDAR, and/or cameras, the data collected is integrated, time-stamped and geo-referenced. The customer can then quickly and accurately combine LIDAR “point cloud” and digital imaging data to build 3D models of the areas driven. 

Industry-leading sensor integration creates unlimited applications for the technology in GIS, construction, agriculture, mapping, and machine control — all areas where Topcon has market leadership.

Ray O’Connor, TPS president and CEO, said Topcon’s Inertial Positioning System (IPS) “makes it possible to track motion through 3D space, creating an instant solution to myriad asset management and data collection applications.”

With its high accuracy scanning and inertial measurement capabilities, its ability to support a variety of sensors and its 360-degree hemispherical digital video camera system, he said,

“The IP-S2 can gather accurate measurement data in extremely difficult conditions, such as tunnels, under bridges, in heavily wooded areas or urban canyons.

“The applications for the IP-S2 are limitless,” he said.

“Whatever you can conceive of in the areas of asset management, data collection on precise location of virtually any subject, using digital photography capabilities, as well as laser scanning options, with its onboard tools the IP-S2 can do the job.”

Collecting field data for GIS applications has always been a time-consuming task, usually taking several years to fully accomplish.

As a result, many databases are incomplete, preventing managers from utilising their full potential. Safety has also been an issue, requiring personnel to stand in highly travelled road corridors where most assets are located.

Eduardo Falcon, senior vice president and general manager of Topcon’s Emerging Business Unit, said the IP-S2 would revolutionise the way in which GIS field data can be collected.

“One pass of an area at normal vehicular travel speeds provides a complete dataset of highly accurate position information and high resolution imagery.

“Using new software tools, GIS operators can easily identify features, assign attributes, and then export them to geospatial applications. The reduction in cost and improvement in safety are exponential compared to traditional ground survey methods.”

The IP-S2 standard system includes three high-resolution LiDAR scanners which cover the vehicle path at ground level and sweep the adjacent areas to a distance of 30 m.

Integration of LIDAR point cloud data with digital imaging allows users to obtain co-ordinate measurement of objects and surfaces.

The technology can provide location and geo-referencing with survey accuracy of visible utilities, traffic signals and roadways, modeling GIS maps, examining tunnels, taking inventory of and collecting 360° digital images (at a rate of 15 frames per second) to catalog surroundings in real time.

The IP-S2 software and hardware have been designed and constructed in a modular format so that an array of present and future sensors can be easily integrated to the existing scanner ports. 

The IP-S2 also works in coordination with an online data post-processing service to provide data sets with the highest possible accuracy. Users can obtain the information, store the information safely and retrieve it effortlessly.

Falcon said the IP-S2 was designed “from the beginning with the goal to be easier to install, learn and use than any other existing mobile positioning solution.”

There are more than 400 of the units currently in use worldwide.

In Australia, the first installation will be commissioned very shortly, according to Bob Bent, executive director with Topcon’s Australian distributor, Position Partners.

“We are very excited about this new technology, and the fact that one of our customers will shortly be putting the IP-S2 to work on a major infrastructure project,” said Bent.

“It represents a major step forward for asset data capture across a wide range of industries – and once again is an example of Topcon’s industry leading technology.

“We can see huge benefits for this system and this technology around Australia,” he said.
Additional IP-S2 information is available at

An overview of the technology behind IP-S2 is availble here


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