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Mike Hopkins - Managing Director of Storm Geomatics has been elected as a council member at The Survey Association (TSA). TSA is the trade organisation for survey companies throughout the UK. Mike's first job was to attend an All Party Parliamentary Group meeting on Flood Prevention at the Houses of Parliament. The meeting was incredibly interesting to Mike as Lord Smith (Chair of the Environment Agency) was there to answer questions from MPs and give an update on flood prevention strategies for the future.

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Leica VIVA gear

Storm Geomatics have completed a relatively smooth transition from the Leica 1200 equipment to the new Leica VIVA gear. With good support from the manufacturer on the configuration of the equipment the survey teams were up and running in no time. The new kit has been used on a variety of projects already this year, one of which was a volumetric survey of an 8.5 acre lake. The kit was coupled up with the single beam echo sounder to capture over 800 bed levels of the former quarry pit, producing a highly accurate model of the lake, thus returning a volume calculation with good integrity.

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Snow in the week leading up to Christmas gave most parts of the country a seasonal feel. Rivers and lakes froze and gave Storm Geomatics the perfect opportunity to take a days training on their brand new Leica Viva equipment. The team can be seen in the photo to the right, proving the kit does work in -5 degrees C! The new survey gear will keep the company working to the very highest accuracies and improve productivity as faster processors, quicker motors and improved algorithms go to work in the field.

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Storm Geomatics caught up with the Leica road show at Cheltenham racecourse this month. Leica supply Storm Geomatics with the survey equipment they need to capture the data and information in the field for our clients. The latest generation of the kit is the Viva TS15 which has an imaging facility and talks to you! It has quicker processors and allows hand written notes to be made on the screen. The road show was very well attended and was extremely well organised which has got a lot of people talking about the new Viva kit.

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Surveyors ventured back into Wales this month to survey some monster control structures that regulate water entering the River Vyrnwy. Critical levels and dimensions were captured on structures to improve the integrity of the river models in the area.

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St Austell

Surveyors just missed the holiday season on the Cornish Riviera when they mobilised to model seven rivers in and around St Austell. Teams provided a staged delivery of the data so the client could start working on river models in parallel with the survey. Unfortunately the only beaches the surveyors saw were where the rivers met the sea!

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Japanese knotweed

Rivers in South Wales are being infested with Japanese knotweed. Surveyors have been carrying out a flood risk assessment on a major river in the area and were slowed up by the eight foot tall invasive plant that squashes any native species in its vicinity. The plant restricts the surveyor's visibility and in turn their ability to measure, it can also grow through concrete and has been known to appear through the floor of peoples living rooms!

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Mike Hopkins - Managing Director volunteered a team of surveyors to help The Salmon & Trout Association measure the 2010 UK Fly Casting Championships at the CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. This presented a big challenge to the surveyors and proved that Storm Geomatics can measure just about anything in any environment under all sorts of pressure. This is the first time a modern approach to measuring the UK fly casting competitions has been put into practice.

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Surveyors embarked on a large topographical survey in Abingdon to identify the possible use of some open land for a flood storage area (FSA). FSAs are being considered and constructed in many areas local to flooding and are proving to be beneficial in high level events. FSAs are designed to hold water back from areas at risk of flooding at peak flow times, thus avoiding surges of water through towns and villages that can run through residential and commercial properties.

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River modelling

River modelling has been the core activity of Storm Geomatics from the outset, and there was no change to this in May. Surveyors have captured and created river model data for watercourses in Weston-sub-Edge and Naunton in the Cotswolds, providing the client with critical level data to exacting standards in order to better understand the flooding issues in the villages. The River Pang at Hampstead Norreys was also surveyed this month and the Environment Agency will use the drawings and model data to quantify flood risk and consider flood alleviation schemes for the village.

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