There are several factors that make a great total station. These include:
The most important factor in any surveying instrument is accuracy. A great total station should have a high degree of accuracy. For example, the Stonex R180
features 0.5" or 1" accuracy with a distance measurement accuracy of 1 mm + 1 ppm (prism) and a 1,000 m long range reflectorless distance measurement, making it perfect for versatile applications. Total stations offer a higher degree of accuracy than traditional surveying methods, leading to more accurate measurements, which in turn can lead to better project outcomes.
Speed: Total stations can save a lot of time compared to traditional surveying methods, and reduce the amount of labour required for a project. An industry-leading total station should be able to take measurements quickly and efficiently.
Ease of Use: A total station should be easy to set up and use. The onboard software should be intuitive and user-friendly, allowing surveyors to quickly learn and operate the instrument. Additionally, these surveying devices can also perform calculations and store data on board, reducing the risk of errors that can occur when data is transferred manually.
Durability: Total stations are expensive instruments, so they need to be durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of fieldwork. A great total station should be built to last, with high-quality materials and a rugged design.
Versatility: A total station should be able to perform a variety of tasks, from basic angle and distance measurements to more complex tasks like stakeout and control surveys.