Singapore Grand Prix resurfaced with Topcon technology
Unlike many cities that utilize existing race circuits, Singapore transforms city streets into race car-worthy surfaces in a matter of days, shutting down roads for the shortest periods possible to minimize impact to residents, visitors and traffic. The most recent race took place over 61 laps of the Marina Bay Street Circuit in September.
For the second year running, Singapore contractor United E&P was tasked with preparing the track for the Formula 1 race in September and partnered with Topcon Positioning Systems dealer, Position Partners, for technology solutions.
United E&P used Topcon design, resurfacing and paving solutions to meet the tight tolerances and timelines needed to resurface areas of the racetrack. It is being updated for the country’s upcoming Formula 1 race.
The racetrack has a specification governed by global motor sport safety association FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile). “The tolerances on this job are very tight,” said Graham Castle, construction manager at United E&P. “We have a riding index we have to meet, a +/- 3 millimeter tolerance on our levels and also 3 millimeter tolerance under a four-meter straight edge for the paved surface.”
To meet these challenges, United E&P used Topcon resurfacing solutions to map the existing surface of the circuit. Laser scanning technology was used to model the track, enabling an optimized design to be loaded onto the machines. MAGNET software was used to create a CAD model for the racetrack, which was then loaded onto paving machines using machine control technology and survey rovers to accurately build to design.
Using Topcon software, United E&P performed variable depth milling to the design. Castle said, “Previously on jobs like these you’d take 50 millimeters out and put 50 millimeters back in, wasting material and not optimizing the surface.”
United E&P utilized a range of Topcon paving machine control solutions including Millimeter GPS with high-performance laser transmitter and GNSS positioning technology, as well as the Topcon local positioning system (LPS) for conditions when GNSS signals were blocked or unavailable. “Only Topcon has the ability to utilize GPS, lasers and total stations and switch between them easily, which makes a huge difference when it comes to projects like these that need precision, at speed,” Castle said.