Point of Beginning - October 2009 - (Page 34a)

A DIGITAL DESERT BY VICK SPEED ICKI E A fast-track survey in a remote desert region of New Mexico requires high-tech p positioning tools. Above center: Chad Shields, PLS, checks the status of the GPS unit during an OPUS observation session. he U.S.-Mexico continental boundary is a 2,000 mile stretch that follows the Rio Grande from the Gulf of Mexico to El Paso, Texas, continues westward over th the harsh deserts along the New Mexico and Arizona borders, takes a short jog north along the Colorado River and, finally, traces the southern edge California out to the the P the Pacific Ocean. T The Secure Fence Act of 2006, enacted in October f t of that year, required the Department of Homeland Sec Se Sec Security (DHS) to construct—in the most expeditious ma ma manner possible—the infrastructure necessary to deter and n and prevent illegal entry along the southwest border. T Th The goal was to have approximately 670 miles of pe pedestrian and vehicle fence, as well as the necessary ro roads and infrastructure, installed at various locations n in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. In gener eral, pedestrian fences are used in urban areas while v vehicle fences are used in rural or remote regions. As the primary project facilitator for the U.S. Army C Corps of Engineers, the Engineering & Construction S Support Office (ECSO) was tasked with overall program management responsibility. ECSO, in turn, called in Michael Baker Corp., headquartered in Moon Township, Pa., as part of an indefinite delivery/i ery/ind / ery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide program manag manage anage management, engineering and surveying support. With less than two years to complete the project, the B Baker team had to survey, design and build almost simult taneously. The team had to best-guess fence alignments, g geographic logistical complexities and road access requirem ments. Baker’s surveyors were tasked with performing G GPS mapping control surveys along the border as well as n numerous corridor survey tasks and technical reviews of th the required boundary survey plats, legal descriptions and C CADD files within the proposed 2,000 mile stretch of fence co corridor involving numerous U.S. Border Patrol sectors. Working with Keystone Aerial Surveys Inc. out of Ph Philadelphia, the Baker team used aerial photogrammetric m methods to acquire orthorectified imagery and topographic m maps in some areas so that they could perform quick site as assessments. Gaining right-of-entry to place the target panels necessary for the aerial mission proved challenging in certain areas, so the team used airborne GPS to reduce the number of www.rpls.com | Point of Beginning | OCTOBER 2009 T http://www.rpls.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Point of Beginning - October 2009

Point of Beginning - October 2009
Web Site/Digital Edition Contents
Editor’s Points
Control on the Edge
Hurricane Watch
The Need for Speed
A Digital Desert
31 Degrees of Latitude
Taming the Wild GIS
The Magic Bullet
From the Ground Up
Professional Topography
Safety Sense
The Business Side
New & Notable
Classified Ads
Fun & Games
Ad Index

Point of Beginning - October 2009