Accuracy Evaluation of Long-Range Reflectorless Distance Measurement


Reflectorless total station (RLTS) has made it possible for only one person to carry out field measurements and inaccessible points can be measured with relative ease. There is no sufficient information about the accuracy of these instruments for the long range measurements. This paper attempts to evaluate the accuracy of reflectorless distance measurements ranging up to 1000 m and to determine the surface area needed for such measurements at different incidence angles. An experiment was carried out to examine what effect surface material, target size and incidence angle had on distance measurement. In this experiment 10 different distances were measured using targets of 6 different materials and 4 different sizes at 5 different incidence angles. To properly evaluate the results, a special supporting base was designed and manufactured for holding the reflecting targets to ensure accuracy in the evaluation. Based on the accuracy analysis of a lot of testing results, the conclusions that were drawn indicated that the target size had a great effect on the accuracy if the incidence angle was between 15° and 30°.

Share and Cite:

Khalil, R. (2015) Accuracy Evaluation of Long-Range Reflectorless Distance Measurement. Positioning, 6, 61-70. doi: 10.4236/pos.2015.63007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Khalil, R. (2013) The Accuracy of GIS Tools for Transforming Assumed Total Station Surveys to Real World Coordinates. Journal of Geographic Information System, 5, 486-491.
[2] Holley, P., Perrine, Th. and Gamble, T. (2011) Is Reflectorless EDM Technology Reliable for Building Construction Layout Tolerances? Proceedings of 47th ASC Annual International Conference, Omaha, 6-9 April 2011.
[3] Cosser, E., Roberts, G., Meng, X. and Dodson, A. (2003) Measuring The Dynamic Deformation Of Bridges Using A Total Station. Proceedings of 11th International FIG Symposium on Deformation Measurements, Santorini, 25-28 May 2003.
[4] Haddad, N. and Ishakat, F. (2007) 3D Laser Scanner and Reflectorless Total Station: A Comparative Study of the Slots of El-Khazneh at Petra in Jordan. Proceedings of XXI International CIPA Symposium, Athens, 1-6 October 2007.
[5] Lambrou, E. and Pantazis, G. (2010) Evaluation of the Credibility of Reflectorless Distance Measurement. Journal of Surveying Engineering, 136, 165-171.
[6] Gopi, S., Sathikumar, R. and Madhu, N. (2007) Advanced Surveying: Total Station, GIS and Remote Sensing. Dorling Kindersley Pvt. Ltd., India.
[7] Tucker, C. (2002) Testing and Verification of the Accuracy of 3D Laser Scanning Data. Proceedings of Symposium on Geospatial Theory, Processing and Applications, Ottawa, 9-12 July 2002.
[8] Mills, J. and Barber, D. (2004) Geomatics Techniques for Structural Surveying. Journal of Surveying Engineering, 130, 56-64.
[9] Coaker, L.H. (2009) Reflector-Less Total Station Measurements and Their Accuracy, Precision and Reliability. USQ Project, Unpublished.
[10] Yan, F., Ullah, M.R., Gong, Y.X., Feng, Z.K., Chowdury, Y. and Wu, L.L. (2012) Use of a No Prism Total Station for Field Measurements in Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. Stands in China. Biosystems Engineering, 113, 259-265.
[11] Key, H. and Lemmens, M. (2005) Reflectorless Laser Distance Measurement. GIM International, 2, 19.
[12] Beshr, A. and Abo Elnaga, I. (2011) Investigating the Accuracy of Digital Levels and Reflectorless Total Stations for Purposes of geodetic Engineering. Alexandria Engineering Journal, 50, 399-405.
[13] Topcon 7500 Specifications.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.