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Survey student establishes a ‘gravity base station’ at Curtin

In semester 2 2015, Todd Lyon, a Bachelor of Surveying student, undertook a project supervised by A/Professor Jon Kirby to establish a ‘gravity base station’ at Curtin.

Such stations provide an accurate and precise value of the Earth’s acceleration due to gravity at their location, and are used to tie relative gravity measurements from local surveys to the national gravity datum, the Australian Absolute Gravity Datum 2007 (AAGD07).

As such, gravity base stations provide a similar function to terrestrial levelling benchmarks, whose height is accurately known on the Australian Height Datum (AHD).

Todd’s project required learning the fundamentals of gravity surveying (greatly helped by Richard Haines of Haines Surveys), conducting the survey by tying the new Curtin station to several existing AAGD07 stations around Perth using Spatial Sciences’ Scintrex gravimeter, and processing the data.

Pleasingly, the results of his work were deemed to be rigorous enough by Geoscience Australia for his new station to be included as a part of the Australian Fundamental Gravity Network (AFGN).

To see the new station, visit the Australian Fundamental Gravity Network , search for “Bentley WA 6102” and click on “Curtin University Spatial Sciences Building 207” from the list.