Carlson RoadNET: Task Pane and Settings

Carlson RoadNET: Understanding theTask Pane and Settings

Task Pane

When designing roads using Carlson’s Road Network feature, all work is done through a Task Pane that docks along the left side of the drawing screen. Having the Task Pane open and active does not prohibit or interfere with normal Command: line or other CAD functionality.

All settings and files associated with a roadway design project are saved in the Road Network (.RDN) file. Upon starting the Road Network command, the user is prompted to open an existing or create a new Road Network (.RDN) file in which to save the project data. Once loaded, the active Road Network filename is displayed at the top of the Task Pane.

Once Roads, Intersections and Cul-de-Sacs have been added to the Road Network, selecting any one of them in the project tree highlights the feature and centers it in the drawing screen. Highlighting and centering options may be changed in the Display Options tab of the Road Network Settings dialog box.

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Road Network Task Pane

Roads

This area of the project tree lists the Roads defined as part of the Road Network. See Adding and Editing Roads for additional assistance. The functions are accessed by right-click on the tree or by the icon buttons at the top of the dialog

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.

Intersections

This area of the project tree lists the Intersections within the Road Network. Intersections are created automatically as intersecting Roads are added to the Network. See Adding and Editing Intersections for additional assistance.

Edit: Use this button to display the Edit Intersection dialog box and make changes to the Input Data and Output Files for the selected Intersection. Other changes that can be made to the Intersection design are:

1) Changing the Primary/Secondary status of the Roads creating the Intersection,
2) Making design changes that apply to the entire Intersection,
3) Making design changes that apply to one or more Corners of the Intersection.

Reset: Use this button to overwrite all design changes made to the selected Intersection and reset to the original Intersection design.

Cul-de-Sacs

This area of the project tree lists the Cul-de-Sacs defined as part of the Road Network. See Adding and Editing Cul-de-Sacs for additional assistance.

Add: Picking this button will display a list of Roads in the Network and prompt the user to “Select Road for Cul-de-Sac”…. After selecting the Road, the Edit Cul-de-Sac dialog box is displayed allowing the user to specify the Input Data and Output Files for the Cul-de-Sac.
Edit: Use this button to display the Edit Cul-de-Sac dialog box and make changes to the input data and output files for the selected Cul-de-Sac.
Remove: Use this button to Remove the selected Cul-de-Sac from the Road.

Buttons

Process: Use this button to manually trigger the computation process for the Road Network and perform the tasks configured in the Output Options tab of the Road Network Settings dialog box.

Report: Use this button to Save or Print one of two Reports provided by the Road Network feature which are: the Output Processing report and the Input Data Files report. Default Report settings can be changed in the Report Options tab of the Road Network Settings dialog box.

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The Output Processing Report displays the cut/fill and material quantities for each Road, Intersection and Cul-de-Sac of the Road Network.

Road Network Output Processing Report 

TP 3

The Input Data Files Report displays all of the user-specified design files associated with the Road Network. The user has the option of reporting only the filename or both the path and filename.

Road Network Input Data Files Report

Settings: This button displays the Road Network Settings dialog box which is the starting place for all projects designed using the Road Network feature. There are 5 tabs in the dialog box: Process OptionsOutput Options, Report Options, Display Options and Transition Defaults.

Save: Pick this button to Save the Road Network (.RDN) file.
SaveAs: Pick this button to Save the current Road Network (.RDN) file and give it a new path and/or filename.
Load/New: Pick this button to Load an existing or start a New Road Network (.RDN) file.
Exit: Pick this button to Exit the Road Network command and close the Task Pane.

Settings

The Road Network Settings dialog box is accessible from the Settings button on the Task Pane.

The Road Network Settings dialog box is the starting place for all projects designed using the Road Network feature. There are 5 tabs in the dialog box: Process OptionsOutput Options, Report OptionsDisplay Options and Transition Defaults.

Process Options

Existing Surface: Use this button to browse to and select the Existing Surface file to be used for the Road Network. Either a TIN or FLT triangulation file are accepted as valid surfaces, both of which can be made within the command Triangulate and Contour.  For speed, it is recommended that the binary TIN file format be selected.
Rock Surface: Use this button to set the Rock Surface file to be used for the Road Network. This Rock Surface is optional. When the Rock surface is specified, the program will report rock quantities with the cut. Also, the cut definition in the road template file can have a separate slope to the rock surface.
Station Interval: These settings determine the distance between cross-section samples. The user has the option of specifying one sampling interval for the Intersection and another for the remainder of the Road.
Existing Section Max Offset: Use this setting to specify the furthest distance left and right of the Centerline that cross-sections are to be sampled.

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Special Stations: This button displays the Stations to Process dialog box (shown above). This box allows the user to decide whether or not cross-sections are to be sampled at critical design points along each Centerline. Special Stations include critical points such as the PC & PT for Centerlines and the PVC, PVT, High Point and Low Point for Profiles. “Additional Special Stations” may be added by entering the station number. These settings apply to all Roads in the Road Network. To identify Special Stations for a particular Road, pick the Special Stations button in the Edit Road dialog box.
Process On Updated Design Files: This setting has 3 options: OffPrompt and Auto:
   Off: This option allows changes to the design files without triggering an automatic update to the entire Road Network.
   Prompt: This option automatically prompts the user, “Process Road Network?” when design files are changed.
   Auto: This option automatically updates the Road Network any time a design file is changed.

Set to Prompt when working with larger projects to avoid long processing periods for small changes. It is more expedient to Process after all changes and updates have been made.

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Prompt to Process Updated Road Network Design

Slope Perpendicular To: This setting allows the user to specify the direction of cut and fill slope projection by selecting one of two options: Centerline and Slope Direction. The Centerline method projects the cut and fill slopes perpendicular to the Centerline of the Road without regard to the Profile of the Road. The Slope Direction method considers the Profile of the Road when projecting the specified cut and fill slopes. For example, projecting cut and fill slopes of 2:1, perpendicular to the Centerline, along a length of Road with a Profile slope of 10% would result in a slightly steeper slope (1.96:1) if measured along the top or toe of that slope. If the same conditions exist but the Slope Direction method is applied, the resulting slope (when measured perpendicular to the Centerline) is slightly less steep (2.04:1) but when measured along the top or toe of slope will be exactly 2:1.
Tie to Existing: If enabled and cut and fill slopes have been defined in the Template (.TPL) file, this setting will project the specified slopes to the Existing Ground surface. If not enabled, the Road design will stop at the last Template ID preceding the cut and fill slopes.
Process Intersections: If enabled this option will calculate all Roads and Intersections. If it is not enabled, each Road will be processed individually.
Connect Roads: This option applies to the 3D polylines/breaklines that are created when Processing the Road Network. If this option is enabled, the 3D polylines for different Roads will be combined around and through Intersections. If it is not enabled, the polylines will be drawn for each Road separately.

Output Options

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Output Options Tab

Triangulate and Contour: When enabled, use the Setup button to display the Triangulate and Contour From Road Network dialog box. Since this command is very similar to the Surfaces → Triangulate and Contour command, only those Settings and Options directly affecting the Road Network will be discussed here. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.

In the Triangulate and Contour From Road Network dialog box…

Triangulate tab
Draw Triangulation Faces: The Road Network version of this command provides additional controls (beyond those in the standard Triangulate and Contour command) for managing the color of the “Triangulation Faces”. Once the “Triangulation Faces” option is enabled, the Set Colors/Layers button becomes active and, when picked, will display the Road Color Settings dialog box (shown below). The color of the faces can be set either by using the Template IDs defined in the Template (.TPL) file or using a color range based on the “Cut & Fill Depths” that uses a range of Reds and Blues to show areas and depths of Cut and Fill for the proposed Road Network. After the Road Network has been Processed, these shaded faces can be viewed using the3D Viewer Window command. Also within Triangulate & Contour, there is Draw Slope Arrows to create arrows in the drawing to show the direction of each triangular “plate” in the Road Network TIN.  This can be helpful to visualize where water will be flowing.

Write Triangulation File: Once enabled, use the Browse button to specify the path and filename for the roadway design Surface (.TIN) file.

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Set Road Colors In the “Triangulate and Contour From Road Network” Dialog Box

Contour and Labels tabs…
Use these tabs to define the settings for proposed contours and contour labels.

Merge Road with Existing: When enabled, use the Set button to specify the path and filename of a third Surface (.TIN) file to be created by merging the Existing and roadway design Surface (.TIN) files.
Write SurvCE Stakeout: When enabled, use the Set button to specify the path and filename of a SurvCE Stakeout (.RNF) file to be exported. This file can be directly loaded into data collectors using Carlson SurvCE for unlimited field stakeout of the Road Network.
Draw Template Polylines: When enabled, this option will draw all 3D polylines used to generate the roadway design Surface. This option is automatically enabled when the Triangulate and Contour option is enabled. The layer for the polylines is set by picking the Set Layers button in Output Options.
Draw Disturbed Area: When enabled, this option will draw a closed, zero-elevation polyline around the limits of disturbance of the roadway design Surface. The layer for the polyline is set by picking the Set Layers button in Output Options.
Draw Subgrade Polylines: When enabled, this option will draw all 3D polylines used to generate the roadway subgrade Surface(s). These polylines can be used to manually generate additional surfaces for modeling, stakeout or machine control purposes. Entering an asterisk (*) in the text box will draw polylines for all Template IDs. Once a Road has been added to the Network, the Select button will be activated. Picking the Select button displays a view of the Template (.TPL) file at the starting station and allows the user to Draw polylines for selected Subgrade IDs. If needed, the Next and Previous buttons at the bottom of the window allow the user to browse through the stations of the road design to find a particular Subgrade ID. The layer for the polylines is set by picking the Set Layers button in Output Options.

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Pick Subgrade Polylines to Be Drawn

Draw Template Slopes: When enabled, this option will draw slope arrows parallel to the Centerline at the selected Template IDs. This option may be used to indicate direction and steepness of slope along the flowline of the gutter. Entering an asterisk (*) in the text box will draw slope arrows for all Template IDs. Once a Road has been added to the Network, the Select button will be activated. Picking the Select button displays a view of the Template (.TPL) file (similar to the one shown above) and allows the user to Draw polylines for selected Template IDs. If needed, the Next and Previous buttons at the bottom of the window allow the user to browse through the stations of the road design to find a particular Template ID. The layer for the slope arrows is set by picking the Set Layers button in Output Options. Other slope arrow settings are specified by picking the Set Slopes button in Output Options.
Draw Cross Section Polylines: When enabled, this option will draw a 3D polyline defining the roadway design surface cross-section at each sampled station along the Centerline. These polylines can be used to manually generate additional surfaces for modeling, stakeout or machine control purposes. The layer for the polylines is set by picking the Set Layers button in Output Options.
Draw Cut/Fill Arrows: When enabled, this option will draw arrows at each sampled cross-section station so that the arrow is pointing down-slope. The example shown below indicates a section of Cut slope transitioning to a section of Fill slope. Once enabled, the user has the ability to adjust the size of the arrows and specify whether or not the Cut/Fill Arrows should be solid.

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Cut/Fill Arrows On Slopes

Label Profile on Centerline: When enabled, this option labels Profile slopes and critical points such as PVC, PVT, High and Low Points in plan view along the Centerline. Once enabled, use the Setup button to open the Label Profile on Centerline Settings dialog. Then, from the list of “Available Labels”, select the label(s) to be drawn and use the Add button to shift them to the list of “Used Labels”. Selecting one of the “Used Labels” and then picking the Setup button allows the user to configure the label style and settings for each type of label.

TP 11

Label Profile on Centerline and Label Setup Dialog Boxes

Output Coordinates: When enabled, this option allows the user to export a Coordinate (.CRD) file containing all of the critical points for the Road Network. Once enabled, pick the Setup button to specify the path, filename and other criteria for the point file.

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Point Output Settings Dialog Box

Output EOP Profiles: When enabled, this option creates individual Profile (.PRO) files for the edges of pavement.

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Output EOP Profiles Dialog Box

Elevate Pads: When enabled, this option adjusts the elevation of closed polylines within a specified proximity of the Road Network. Once enabled, use the Setup button to open the Elevate Pad Settings dialog box and configure the settings.

In the Elevate Pad Settings dialog box…

Reference Template ID: When determining the new pad elevation, all distances and elevation changes are based on the Template ID specified here. Type the Template ID in the text box or use the Select button to choose from a list.
Pad Layer: All original polylines found on this layer (and within the Max Offset of the Reference Template ID) will be elevated.
Max Offset: All original polylines within this distance of the Reference Template ID and on the specified “Pad Layer” will be elevated.
Reference Elevation: This setting has 3 options: “Highest Elevation”, “Lowest Elevation” and “Elevation at Middle”. Of the elevations found along the Reference Template ID that are adjacent to the pad polyline, the command will use either the highest, lowest or middle elevation found to set the new pad elevation.
Slope Type: This setting has 3 options: Percent (%), Ratio (x:y) and Vertical (change in elevation).
Cut/Fill, Normal/Min/Max Slopes: For future earthwork balancing adjustments, the settings in this dialog are used to specify the range of allowable slopes when in cut or fill conditions.
Assign New Layer: When enabled, this option allows the user to specify a new layer for the new, elevated pad polyline. Once enabled, either type the new layer name in the text box or use the Select button to choose the layer from a list.
Retain Original Polyline: This option is only available if the “Assign New Layer” option is enabled and will keep the original, zero-elevation polyline in addition to the new, elevated polyline. If this option is not enabled, the original polyline will be deleted from the drawing.

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Elevate Pad Settings Dialog Box

In the dialog shown here, all closed polylines on layer PAD that are within 100 feet of the road will have their elevations set based on a 2 percent grade up from the PAVE Template ID point, in either Cut or Fill conditions.  In future earthwork balancing adjustments, the polyline can be adjusted a maximum of up to a 10 percent grade or down to a 1 percent grade from the Reference Template ID. The example below shows the results of elevating a pad so that it is 2.0′ above (using Vertical option) the highest point along a Reference Template ID of “SH” (Shoulder) on the adjacent Road.

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Elevate Pads – Example

Elevate Lots: When enabled, this option follows a logic similar to that of the Elevate Pads routine in that it elevates zero-elevation lot lines relative to a road design and based on a set of grading rules. Once the option is enabled, use the Setup button to display the Elevate Lots Setup dialog box.

Grading Rules: The necessity of a Grading Rules (.GRR) file is the key difference between elevating pads and elevating lots. If a Grading Rules (.GRR) file has already been prepared, use the Select button to browse to and select the file. To create a new file, pick the Edit button to open the Define Grading Rules dialog box and specify the desired settings. Then, pick the SaveAs button to Save a Grading Rules (.GRR) file. Define Grading Rules is a command that also exists outside of the Road Network feature. Please refer to the Help files for that command if additional assistance is needed.
Reference Template ID: When determining the elevations for the new lot line, all distances and elevation changes are based on the Template IDspecified here. Type the Template ID in the text box or use the Select button to choose from a list.
Input 2D Lot Layer: All original polylines found on this layer (and within the Max Offset of the Reference Template ID) will be elevated. Either type the layer name in the text box or use the Select button to choose the layer name.
Output 3D Lot Layer: This is the layer to which the newly elevated lot lines will be assigned. Either type the layer name in the text box or use the Selectbutton to choose the layer name.
Front to Ref Max Offset: Use this setting to specify a distance from the Reference Template ID beyond which Lot Frontage polylines will not be elevated.
Back to Ref Max Offset: Use this setting to specify a distance from the Reference Template ID beyond which Back/Rear Lot polylines will not be elevated.

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Elevate Lots and Define Grading Rules Dialog Boxes

Set Layers: Pick this button to display the Road Network Layers dialog box.

TP 17

Road Network Layers Dialog Box

Set Slopes: Pick this button to display the Road Network Slopes dialog box and configure the settings for drawing slope arrows.

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Road Network Slopes Dialog Box

Output File Defaults: Pick this button to specify additional Centerline (.CL), Profile (.PRO) and Section (.SCT) files to be saved when Processing the Road Network.

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Output File Defaults Dialog Box

Report Options

Settings on this tab allow the user to specify defaults for the Road Network Report feature. This feature is accessible from the Report button of the Task Pane.
Report Precision: Specify the decimal precision for the report.
Use Report Formatter:
 This option allows for customized report layout and contents. Otherwise a standard report is displayed.
Report Cut/Fill End Areas:
 Specify whether or not to report cut/fill at each station.
Report Cut/Fill Differences:
 Adds a running total of the cut to fill balance at each station to the report.
Report Cumulative Cut/Fill:
 Adds a running total of the cut/fill at each station to the report.
Fill Shrink/Cut Swell Factor: Allows you to specify a value that the volume calculated will be multiplied by. 

Display Options

Settings on this tab allow the user to configure special display characteristics in order to identify the Road, Intersection or Cul-de-Sac selected in the Task Pane.

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Display Options Tab

Transition Defaults

Settings in this tab allow the user to specify the default values used for transitioning from Road to Road, from Road to Intersection and from Road to Cul-de-Sac.

CL Intersections: Use this setting to define the default transition distance and vertical curve length for intersecting Centerlines. See Adding and Editing Intersections for more.
Side Intersections: Use this setting to define the default vertical curve length for the Profile and the default radius for Corners at Intersections. See Adding and Editing Intersections for more.
Surface Method: When calculating Intersections, there are two options for handling the cross-sections of the intersecting Roads: “Hold Main Crown”, which honors the Primary Road Template through the Intersection, or “Radial from Curb”, which grades between the Centerline Profile and the Profile of each Corner of the Intersection. The Profile for the Corner may be defined as the edge of pavement (EP), back of curb (BC) or other point on the cross-section by specifying the Template ID in the Settings tab of the Edit Intersection dialog box.

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Surface Method: Radial From Curb

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Surface Method: Hold Main Crown

Transition Method: This setting applies when a Road has a varying width through an Intersection. The “Across Intersection” option looks at the Primary Road (from start to end of the Intersection) to find the maximum offset distance between the Centerline and edge of pavement, and uses this distance to set the edge of pavement breakline across the Intersection with the Secondary Road. The “Mid Point” option simply finds the pavement width at the Intersection station and uses this distance to set the edge of pavement breakline across the Intersection.
Cul-de-Sac: Use this setting to define the default vertical curve length along the Cul-de-Sac Profile

TP 24

Transition Defaults Tab

Click here to go to Adding and Editing Roads

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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