technology and industry


Drilling tunnels

Coming from two directions to one point

Building tunnels is an indispensable advantage for traffic and transportation. The different types of tunnels in mountains, sea, city and mining are everywhere and some of them are impressive buildings of today.

Drilling tunnels is an interdisciplinary project. Teamwork is necessary with construction engineers, geologists, ecologists, urban planers and more and particularly together with geodesists. Their main task is to transfer a creation of track layout to the later tunnel line underground in each detail. They use most actual surveying methods to visualize and manage the collected data in geo information systems.

The most recent and prominent project is the St. Gotthard tunnel which will be the longest tunnel of the world with 57 kilometers. Geodesists have generated fixed points above the ground at first. With these points three dimensional coordinates can be defined underground. The technical orientation of the boring machine can be done with these coordinates. The line cannot be carried out in a straight way because of the geological and geographical circumstances. That is why the direction of driving has to be recalculated regularly every few meters. According to this calculation the laser beam showing the actual direction of drilling has to be corrected and arranged constantly. Each new calculation is based on the last position of the tunnel boring machine.

Geodesy and geo information studies at the university enable persons to do this interesting, responsible and focused on technique service.

Climate & environment

What happens where while it is getting warmer? How does our environment change? Where does sea level rise come from? Are the continents drying out? Are the continental plates still sliding on top of each other as they did in the past? - Geomatics engineers measure changes and answer questions.

Real estate

Everyone has seen geomatics engineers in the field. Using their instruments they sometimes work at the roadside. Car drivers slow down, thinking of speed control. Children stop by craving for the colorful security jackets. - But what are the engineers really doing there?

Technology & industry

How is it possible that we don't miss each other when boring a tunnel from two sides? Why is the shelf at home always crooked but the 300 m high building bolt upright? - Because geomatics engineers take care of it.

Navigation & Mobility

In the past, the front passenger said: "There should be a right turn soon." Today, this is not enough anymore. Dead-ends, new roundabouts, nearby points of interest – a modern navigation system seems to know everything. - If it does, this is just due to geomatics…