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Paper convr-2013-23:
Real-time tablet-based virtual reality implementation to facilitate tunnel boring machine steering control in tunnel construction

Facilitated by the SciX project

Mao S,Shen X,Lu M,Wu X

Real-time tablet-based virtual reality implementation to facilitate tunnel boring machine steering control in tunnel construction

Abstract: On the majority of tunneling projects, steering a tunnel boring machine (TBM) currently relies on a laser station which projects a laser beam onto a laser target board mounted on the TBM. However, laser target boards lack accuracy and reliability, thus potentially contributing to quality defects and increased risks of schedule delay and budget overrun in tunnel construction. This research has developed a cost-effective, real-time solution called “virtual laser target board (VLTB)” to substitute for physical laser target boards in guiding TBM during construction. Through integrating automation control mechanisms, innovative computing algorithms, and wireless network technologies, the VLTB technology transforms a popular survey tool, the robotic total station, into a construction control robot which precisely tracks and positions the TBM. By applying an enhanced point-to-angle computing algorithm, VLTB calculates the exact coordinates of the cutter head center on the working TBM in millimeter-level accuracy. The invisible cutter head center is projected onto a “virtual laser target board” on a tablet interface in relation to the as-designed alignment. Based on field testing, VLTB is found to be able to lend real-time, relevant assistance to TBM operators and tunnel surveyors. Compared to other advanced technologies in the market, VLTB provides a simpler and more flexible solution to ensure tunnel alignment control and enhance quality and productivity performances in tunnel construction.

Keywords: Tunnel Construction,Tunnel Boring Machine,Virtual Reality,Mobile Computing,Machine Control and Guidance,Robotic Total Station

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