The total station instrument is the abbreviation of the full station electronic speed measuring instrument, and it is a photoelectric instrument which combines the electronic theodolite, the photoelectric rangefinder and the microprocessor.
Total station instrument is the time require of people in the process of automatic measurement of angle. All kinds of electronic theodolite play a great role in various surveying and mapping operations.
From the experience of the development of the tachometer combined photoelectric rangefinder and theodolite, or photoelectric rangefinder and electronic theodolite, the optical axis to light integral to photoelectric rangefinder transmitting and receiving system and theodolite collimation axis combination for coaxial integrated total station and several stages.
At first the distance measurement of the tachymeter was achieved by the optical method, which we call the "optical speed tester". In fact, "optical speed measuring instrument" means the theodolite with a line of sight. The plane position of the measured points is determined by direction measurement and optical distance. The elevation is determined by triangulation.
The optical speed measuring instrument with "stadia" is fast and simple. It has advantages in short distance (less than 100 meters) and low accuracy (1/200 and 1/500) measurement, such as broken point measurement, and has been widely applied.
With the emergence of electronic distance measuring technology, the development of the speed measuring instrument is greatly promoted. Using the electromagnetic range finder instead of the optical horizon theodolite, the measuring range is larger, the measurement time is shorter, and the precision is higher. The speed tester, which is measured by the electromagnetic range finder, is generally referred to as the "Electronic Tachymeter". However, with the emergence of electronic angle measurement technology. The concept of "electronic speed measuring instrument" has changed accordingly. According to the different angle measuring methods, it is divided into a half station electronic speed tester and a total station electronic speed tester. A half station electronic tachometer is an electronic tachometer that uses optical methods to measure angle, and also known as the "range finder". This instrument appears early speed measurement and improved, can be input to the optical angle range finder by keyboard on the oblique distance is the horizontal distance and height difference, finally obtains the direction angle and coordinate difference, these results can be automatically transmitted to the external memory. The total station type electronic speed measuring instrument is a three-dimensional coordinate measuring system consisting of electronic angle measurement, electronic distance measurement, electronic calculation and data storage unit. The measuring result can be automatically displayed and can exchange information with other peripherals. Because the total station type electronic speed measuring instrument has realized the electronic and integration of measurement and processing better, people usually call it the total station type electronic speed meter or the total station.
At the end of 80s twentieth Century, according to the unbalanced development of electronic angle measuring system and electronic ranging system, the total station instrument was divided into two main categories, namely block type and integral type.
Since 90s twentieth Century, it has basically developed into a holistic total station.