Automated Total Stations (ATS) are an autonomous optical monitoring system for three-dimensional movement of structures using arrays of reflective prisms or targets.

When established in networks, several ATS can accurately measure hundreds of targets at high frequencies, making them well suited for 24 hour monitoring of  large, complex projects.

Automated Total Station (ATS)

Common uses

Monitoring of 3D movement, deformation, and settlement in structures.
Monitoring of movement on rail assets and underground tunnels.
Networked ATS for automated monitoring of larger scale infrastructure.


ATS provide monitoring of deformation and settlement in structures with high precision and frequency.

Operating autonomously, they can achieve the same results as manual surveys with far less effort, latency and exposure to human error.

Data transmission, processing, and network adjustment are all automatic, which allows web monitoring platforms such as Quickview to display updated data hourly and enable automatic reporting and alerts.

We design our own ATS networks specifiic to every site, delivering a fully transparent and quality-checked service that takes future construction into account.

ATS monitoring requires installation of:

  • 3D monitoring prisms on the structure
  • Reference prisms outside the zone of influence.
  • One or more ATS with line of sight to all prisms.
  • A datalogger unit for unattended 24/7 operation. This controls the Instrument and transmits data. Supplied by mains or solar power.

Depending on site requirements, specific brackets and support elements are chosen for each project to install equipment in secure and stable locations.

Automated Total Stations accurately determine the position of monitoring points by measuring horizontal and vertical angles and the distance between the instrument and the targets.

The data is transferred to adjustment software which calculates and outputs the updated coordinates of each monitoring point. Over time these changes in coordinates can be tracked and visualised to understand structural movement in relation to site works.

Data quality control is ensured using in-house, custom software QuickAdjust, which checks for network errors and tracks real-time data return percentages.

GEO-Instruments use high-end, industry-proven instrumentation, technology, and software at every stage of  data collection, processing, and interpretation.


  • High accuracy: Using our extensive experience with ATS networks we carefully design systems with additional redundancy and common points to ensure quality results.
  • Safety: 24/7 data with automatic alarms and reporting.
  • Automation: High frequency data and low maintenance systems provide significant cost savings on longer term projects.
  • Reliability: 3D prism arrays provide reliable and stable long-term data once installed. Only the Total Stations require power and data connections and can be installed in secure locations, safe from accidental damage.
  • Ease of installation: Easy installation and flexibility as no cables are required between monitoring points.
  • Data integration: GEO-Instruments' QuickView software can output data as specified by the customer, combining it with other geotechnical data and CAD-generated plans and as-builts.