Carlson RoadNET: Adding and Editing Roads

Carlson RoadNET: Adding and Editing Roads

Roads in a Road Network are managed in the Road Name area of the Task Pane.

Add: Pick this button to Add a Road to the Network. After adding the Road, the Edit Road dialog box is displayed allowing the user to manage and make changes to the Input Files and Output Files for the selected Road.
Edit: Pick this button to display the Edit Road dialog box to manage and make changes to the Input Files and Output Files for the selected Road.
Remove: Pick this button to delete the selected Road from the Road Network. After Removing the Road from the Network the design files associated with that Road will remain in the project folder.

Adding a New Road

Adding a new Road may be done either by selecting a pre-defined Centerline (.CL) file or by screen-picking a 2D Polyline in the drawing and assigning a new Centerline (.CL) file to it.

Add: Use this button to Add a Road to the Road Network or right-click on Roads in the project tree and pick Add Road. After picking the Add button, the Add Road dialog box gives the user the option to “Select Centerline By…” Centerline File or Screen Pick Polyline. If the Centerline File option is chosen, the user is prompted to browse to and select the Centerline (.CL) file.

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Specify Method to Use to Add Road

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Set Centerline Dialog Box

If the Screen Pick Polyline option is chosen, the user is prompted to select a polyline in the drawing. If an associated Centerline (.CL) file is not found in the project folder, the Set Centerline dialog notifies the user that, “No centerline file associated with polyline…” and the user must choose to either select another polyline or to Assign Centerline File to Polyline.

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Centerline to Set File Dialog Box

After picking the Assign Centerline File to Polyline button, the Centerline to Set file dialog box prompts the user to assign a path and filename for the new Centerline (.CL) file.

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Profile to Use File Dialog Box

Immediately upon defining the new Road, the Profile to Use file dialog box prompts the user to assign a path and filename for the proposed Profile (.PRO) file for the Road. By default, the new Profile (.PRO) file is named the same as the Centerline (.CL) file.

After specifying the Centerline (.CL) and Profile (.PRO) files for the Road, the Edit Road dialog box is displayed. This dialog serves as the “manager” for all files relating to the specific Road. The Edit Road dialog box allows the user to apply settings and associate various files that are specific to the Road – not the entire Road Network. The Edit button in the Road Name section of the Road Network: Task Pane also displays this dialog box.

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Edit Road Dialog Box

Intersection Only: If this option is enabled, Road Network will only consider the portions of this Road that intersect with other Roads when calculating the design.
Full Range: This option will process the full station range of the road. Otherwise, turn this option off and set the Station Range to process a subset of the road.
Station Settings: Pick this button to display for special stations and cut/fill gaps.
Special Stations: Enter one or more stations at which to sample cross-sections.
Cut/Fill Gaps: Use the Add and Remove buttons to define a series of station ranges for cut/fill gaps where the program will not calculate any volumes or apply the template cut/fill tie slopes. For example, these stations could be used across a bridge.

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Add Road Specific Special Stations

Road Input Files

A Centerline (.CL) file, a Profile (.PRO) file and a Template (.TPL) File are required in order to process a roadway design using the Road Network feature. In addition, the Road Network feature accepts several additional files for designing Roads using specific criteria. In the Edit Road dialog box, picking the buttons on the left, that are labeled with the file type, will display a file dialog box prompting the user to select an existing or create a new file of that type. The corresponding Edit button to the right of each file type will display the editor for that file type.

Required Road Input Files

Centerline: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Centerline (.CL) file from which to define the horizontal alignment of the Road. The Edit button opens the Centerline File Editor. This Editor is the same as the one used for the Input-Edit Centerline File command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Centerline File Editor

Profile: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new design Profile (.PRO) file for the Road. The Edit button opens the Input-Edit Road Profile Editor. The Editor provides the user with both a “profile-grid-view” and a “table-view” of the Profile (.PRO) file. See Road Profile Editor for more.

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Input-Edit Road Profile Editor

Template: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Template (.TPL) file or Template Series (.TSF) file for the Road.

A Template (.TPL) file defines a typical roadway cross-section including pavement, curb, ditches, medians, super-elevations, subgrades, rights-of-way and cut/fill slopes. One of the most critical steps in defining a Road Template for use with the Road Network feature is the assigning of a Template ID to points on the Template. A Template ID is a unique name for each point on the Template and is used to transition from Road to Road, from Road to Intersection and Road to Cul-de-Sac. The Template ID serves 4 purposes: (1) the ID will be applied as a description to all final Template points generated in the form of a Coordinate (.CRD) file, (2) the ID can be used as a design point in the Template definition, as in EP+5 indicating 5 feet or meters right of edge of pavement, (3) points of common ID may be connected by 3D polylines in the Output Options tab of the Road Network: Settings dialog box and (4) Quantities can be generated with reference to the ID and material (gravel, concrete, etc.) also defined in the Template (.TPL) file.

A Template Series (.TSF) file references Template (.TPL) files for Template-to-Template transitioning and is one method used for widening and narrowing of Road sections.

Picking the Edit button will open the appropriate Design Template or Input-Edit Template Series File Editor. These Editors are the same as those used for the Draw Typical Template and Template Transition commands. Please refer to the Help files for those commands if additional assistance is needed.

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Design Template Editor

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Input-Edit Template Series Editor

Optional Road Input Files

Super Elevation: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new SuperElevation (.SUP) file for the Road. The Edit button opens the Super Elevation Editor. This Editor is the same as the one used for the Input-Edit Super Elevation command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Input-Edit Super Elevation

Topsoil Removal: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Topsoil Removal (.TOP) file for the Road. This file allows the user to define topsoil removal and replacement zones to be used in the Road design. Different topsoil depths can be used for different station ranges and then are computed as part of the cut and fill volumes. The Edit button opens the Topsoil File Editor. This Editor is the same as the one used for the Topsoil Removal/Replacement command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Topsoil Removal/Replacement Editor

Template Transition: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Template Transition (.TPT) file for the Road. This file allows the user to define changes in grade distances or slopes for a specific Template ID through a range of stations and is another method of widening and narrowing Road sections. The Edit button opens the Template Transition Editor. This Editor is the same as the one used for the Template Transition command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Template Transition Editor

Template Grade Table: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Template Grade Table (.TGT) file for the Road. This file allows the user to define specific slopes and distances for one or more Template IDs (and for left and right sides independently) that have been assigned in the Template (.TPL) file. The Edit button opens the Template Grade Table Editor. This Editor is the same as the one used for the Template Grade Table command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Template Grade Table

Template Pt Profile: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Template Point Profile (.TPP) file for the Road. This file allows the user to assign separate Profile (.PRO) files to specific Template IDs that have been defined in the Template (.TPL) file. This accommodates varying grade changes (for a ditch, for instance) independent of the Profile for the Centerline. The Edit button opens Define Template Alignments and then picking theAdd button displays the Template Point Profile Settings dialog box. These dialog boxes are the same as the ones used for the Assign Template Pt Profile command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Assign Template Pt Profile Dialog Boxes

Template Pt Centerline: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Template Point Centerline (.TPC) file for the Road. This file allows the user to assign separate Centerline (.CL) files to specific Template IDs that have been defined in the Template (.TPL) file. This accommodates varying widths for cross-section surfaces and provides an additional method of managing widening and narrowing of Roads. The Edit button opens Define Template Alignments and then picking the Add button displays the Template Point Centerline Settings dialog box. These boxes are the same as the ones used for the Assign Template Pt Centerline command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Assign Template Pt Centerline Dialog Boxes

ROW Offsets: The ROW feature draws 2D linework at specified offsets from the centerline. In the dialog, there are settings for the layer for the 2D polyline and the offsets left and right of the centerline. There is also a list of additional offsets to draw. Use the Add, Edit and Remove buttons to setup this list of offsets to draw. The names, offsets and layers for these 2D polylines is stored to a .ROW file.

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Right of Way Dialog Box

Road Design Parameters: Pick this button to select an existing or create a new Road Design Parameters (.RDP) file for the Road. This file allows the user to define a set of Road design standards to compare against a roadway design. The Road Network Process function will report a warning when the design is out of compliance with these parameters. The Road Design Parameters can be specific to all stations along a Road or, in the event speed limit or other changes must be applied, a range of stations. The Edit button opens the Road Design Parameters dialog box. This box is the same as the one used for the Define Road Design Parameters command. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

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Road Design Parameters Dialog Box

Road Stripes: This option draws plan view polylines for road stripes such as double yellow lines along the centerline and dashed white lane lines. See the Draw Road Stripes command for a description of this feature.

Cut Benches: Pick this button to specify up to 4 triangulation surface files to use when the “Slopes In Series” and “Cut to Surface” options are used in the Template (.TPL) file. In cut conditions, the program will look to intersect with these surfaces before it reaches the final target surface which is the Existing Surface set under Settings.

Optional Road Output Files

Existing Section File: Pick this button to specify the path and filename for the existing cross-section file to be written. The default filename is set by picking Output File Defaults button in the Output Options tab of the Road Network Settings dialog box.
Final Section File: Pick this button to specify the path and filename for the final/design cross-section file to be written. The default filename is set by picking Output File Defaults button in the Output Options tab of the Road Network Settings dialog box.
SuperElevation Diagram: Pick this button to specify the path and filename for the SuperElevation Diagram (.SUD) file to be written.

Click here to go to Road Profile Editor

Recent Posts

Jam proofing drones

“Collect 1 million data points from a 15-minute flight compared to 300 points in a day from a traditional ground survey. It’s no wonder that drones equipped with GPS technology and remote sensors are revolutionising data collection. But will jamming spoil all the fun?”

Who let the drones out?

Recent years have seen the appearance of affordable, high-end drones which, coupled with easy-to-use mission-planning tools, has created the perfect environment in which drones can flourish. No longer the preserve of specialist drone users, applications using drones have been venturing into areas such as survey, inspection and volume analysis with an impact that is little short of revolutionary.

Interference can spoil it all

In the air, the stakes are higher. When things go wrong, the consequences are invariably much more serious than they would have been on the ground. One of the biggest threats to drone safety is GNSS interference. At the very least, disruptions to satellite signals can degrade position quality causing fall-backs from high-precision RTK and PPP modes to less-precise modes. In the most extreme cases, interference can result in complete loss of signal tracking and positioning.

Self interference

A significant source of interference on UAVs is often the other components installed on the UAV. The restricted space means that the GNSS antenna is often in close proximity to other electrical and electronic systems.

gopro_interference (1)

Figure 1: GoPro Hero 2 camera pick-up monitored by an AsteRx4 receiver

Figure 1 shows what happened to the GPS L1-band spectrum when a GoPro camera was installed on a quadcopter close to the GNSS antenna without sufficient shielding. The three peaks are exactly 24 MHz apart pointing to their being harmonics of a 24 MHz signal: the typical frequency for a MMC/SD logging interface.

An AsteRx4 receiver was used in this setup which includes the AIM+ system. As well as mitigating the effects of interference, AIM+ includes a spectrum plot to view the RF input from the antenna in both time and frequency domains. At the installation stage, being able to view the RF spectrum is an invaluable tool for both identifying the source of interference and determining the effectiveness of measures such as modifying the setup or adding shielding. For the quadcopter installation in this example, the loss of RTK was readily diagnosed and solved by placing the camera in a shielded case while the quadcopter was still in the workshop.

External sources of interference

GNSS receivers on-board UAVs can be particularly vulnerable to external sources of interference, be they intentional or not. In the sky, the signals from jammers can propagate over far longer distances than they would be able to on land.

In the case of UAV inspections of wind turbines for example, many countries encourage windmills to be built next to roads, a situation that increases the chance of interference from in-car chirp jammers. These devices though illegal are cheap and can be readily acquired on the internet. Using a chirp jammer, a truck driver can, for example, drive around undetected by the GPS trackers on the truck and car thieves can disable GPS anti-theft devices on stolen vehicles.

External interference: the effect of a chirp jammer on a UAV flight

Although transmitting with a power of around only 10 mW, chirp jammers are powerful enough to knock out GNSS signals in a radius of several hundred metres on land. In the air, the UAV is much more vulnerable as the jamming signals have a far greater reach, unhindered as they are by trees, buildings or other obstacles.

Figure 2 shows how a 10mW chirp jammer can knock out RTK positioning over more than 1 km in a high-end receiver. Even a low-end consumer-grade L1 receiver, being less accurate and thus less sensitive, loses standalone positioning over several hundred metres.

 With AIM+ activated, the AsteRx4 is able to maintain an RTK fix throughout the simulated flight as well as showing no degradation to its position variance. The full details on these simulations can be found in a recent white paper.

Solving interference on UAV systems

A comprehensive approach puts interference considerations at the forefront of receiver design and incorporates it into every stage of signal processing. In the case of the AsteRx4 and AsteRx-m2, the antenna signal is immediately digitised after analogue filtering and automatically cleansed of interference using multiple adaptive filtering stages.

As each interfering signal has its own individual footprint, being able to visualise the RF signal in both time and frequency domains allows drone users to identify sources of self-jamming and adapt their designs accordingly before the drone gets in the air.

When it is in the air, AIM+ is able to mitigate jamming from external sources: a set of configurable notch filters are complemented by an adaptive wideband filter capable of rejecting more complex types of interference such as that from chirp jammers, frequency-hopping signals from DME/TACAN devices as well as high-powered Inmarsat transmitters.

chirp_jammer_interference

Figure 2: RTK position availability for the AsteRx4 with AIM+ activated and a comparable high-end receiver. The low-end receiver tracks L1 only and outputs less-precise standalone positions. A 10mW chirp jammer is located on the ground at position (0,0) as shown.

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