Delta Watch: Configure tilt meter sensors

Using more than just prisms to monitor your site?

Learn how to add geotechnical tilt sensor data to Delta Watch.

Delta Watch supports data formats from various manufacturers directly, or you can convert your data to match. Either way Delta Watch, and especially Delta Live!, allow you to integrate this data onto one platform for visualization and alarming.

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Delta Watch: Configure tilt meter sensors


Besides creating virtual tilt sensors using geodetic observations, Delta Watch can also import data from other tilt sensors. Once imported, this data can be viewed, alarmed, and reported on in the same way as on other sensors in Delta Watch.

Importing this data also allows you to view it in Delta Live!, Topcon's web-visualization, making it a powerful all-in-one solution.

Delta Watch supports various data formats, and upon request, a custom import format could be added.

This article explains in detail how to import the data and configure Delta Watch to visualize it. A separate document describes the accepted file formats in detail.



To be able to use this functionality, ensure the below minimum requirements have been met:

  • Delta Watch v3.4 or higher
  • Tilt meter add-on is enabled. This can be checked in the About Delta Watch dialog box, accessible from within Delta Watch via the Help menu. See image on right.

If the Tilt meter module is not available, then please contact your local dealer to purchase this add-on.

In this article a certain workflow is suggested, which is the easiest for learning and for managing small amounts of sensors. When there is a need to create many sensors, there is an alternative method which involves importing a .CSV file directly into the Sensor management module with certain information, such as name, sensor type, but also map and WGS84 coordinates.

Sections in this article:

  • Simplified workflow [jump]
  • Detailed workflow [jump]
  • Viewing and managing the data [jump]
  • Create tilt sensors using the Point and Limit Management module [jump]
  • Supported data formats [jump]

Simplified workflow

  1. [optional] Load a background image.
  2. Configure Tilt meter Sensor field in Project management > Tilt meter.
  3. [optional] Customize channels with individual alarm limits and Reference reading.
  4. Configure the import in the Import & Export module.
  5. [optional] Configure data export.
  6. [optional] Configure automatic reports.

Detailed workflow

1. [optional] Load a background image.

To visualize where (tilt) sensors are installed, a background image can be used. This can be any image, photo, or drawing. It is best to import this image into Delta Watch before creating the sensor.

For visualization and reporting purposes, a background image can be used. This image could help you visualize the location and movement directions. It can be any image, photo, or drawing and does not need to be referenced as is required with map backgrounds. It is best to import this image into Delta Watch before creating the tilt sensor field.

See the article Delta Watch: Importing images for maps and backgrounds for more details (link at bottom).

2. Configure the Tilt meter module

Tilt meter sensors can almost completely be configured from within the Tilt meter module under Project management. This is a simple and quick method especially when only a small number of sensors needs to be configured.

Alternatively, sensors could first be created in the Sensor management section of the Point and limit management module before configuring the Tilt meter module. That approach allows you to configure many sensors at once when using a .CSV import file that contains information like serial number and coordinates for visualization purposes. This method is described in a separate article, Delta Watch: Importing sensor definitions. If required, do this now before continuing!

To visualize all project tilt data on their own chart, either in Delta Watch or for Delta Live! purposes, one or more views needs to be configured.

  1. Navigate to Project management > Tilt meter, and then Add [add] a new sensor field, as per the image below. A dialog box shows where a name needs to be specified.
It is possible to combine data from multiple tilt sensors in a single sensor field definition.


  1. Select the newly added sensor, and activate the tab Sensor field configuration.
  2. Select a background image. This is not required but greatly assists in visualizing.
  3. Add the sensors under the Geotechnical sensors section.
    1. If the sensors already exist in the Point and limit management module, then click Edit [edit]. A new dialog box pops up where the existing sensors can be selected. See image below. Select all relevant sensors on the left-hand side that need to be added and move them to the right by clicking on the [move-to-the-right] button. Then click OK and Apply.
    2. To create a new sensor, click on Add [add], and a dialog box opens. At a minimum, the Name needs to be specified. The rest is optional if known. Click OK to save the sensor. This automatically creates the entry in the Point and limit management module. Repeat for any other sensors.

Sensors can only by removed by using the Edit [edit] option. Select the sensors on the right-hand side and then click on the move_left [move-to-the-left] button.


When importing GeoScope compatible data files, the channel names for each sensor will need to be adjusted for correct operation. See the file format description for more details.

2.1 - Configure alarms the simple way

Once all sensors are configured, it is possible to set alarm limits directly from here on all X and Y sensor channels. Click on the Edit [edit] icon next to Triggers + Alarm values. A dialog box shows where the appropriate limits can be specified. When done, close and click Apply. These limits will now be written to the current configured sensors. Configuring individual channel limits can be done in the Sensor management section of the Point and limit management module.


2.2 - Delta Live! browser configuration section

Additional configurations can be done for visualization and permission purposes in Delta Live!.

The WGS84 position specified here is the position on overview maps of this complete group of sensors. Individual coordinates for each sensor need to be specified in the Point and limit management module under Sensor management.

The Browser menu setting is where a separate submenu for Delta Live! can be defined. In Delta Live! the submenu can then be found under Sensorfields. New submenus can be added to the project in the Projects module under the Browser section.


2.3 - Configure the Calculation section

This is where the sensor data can be viewed and exported. There is also a Remark section which could be used to add notes. First the sensors need to be placed on the selected background image.

To place the sensors in their position on the background image, do the following:

  1. Select the Calculation tab.
  2. Check the Edit mode: set points box.
  3. Drag each point to the correct position on the background.
  4. When all points are positioned, uncheck the Edit mode: set points box.
  5. Save changes by clicking Apply.

Below is an example of 3 tilt sensors placed on an image.

3. Customize the new sensor (optional)

The default configuration of all the tilt sensors and their channels might be good enough for most usages. But they can be customized, and items such as map-symbol and alarms can be configured. This customization can be done at any time. Alarm limits will show on charts and can be used to trigger the sending of email messages.

  • Navigate to the Sensor management section in the Point and limit management module.
  • Select the required sensor in the top half of the screen.
  • To edit things like map-icon, (map-)coordinates, or External name, click on the Edit [edit] icon in the top half of the screen.
  • To edit a specific channel setting, select the required channel in the bottom half and click on the Edit [edit] icon.
  • Make your adjustments, and repeat the steps for any other sensor and channels.
  • Click Apply when done to save the changes to the database.
When editing individual channels, the unit options for raw and processed data only apply in this configuration section to simplify the alarm configurations. They have no influence on data import/export or visualization elsewhere in Delta Watch.


4. Create the import definition

After the sensor field is defined and configured, an import task needs to be created to be able to import the data. Before doing so, check in the Sensor management section of the Point and limit management module if all created sensors are set to Active.


For tilt sensors only one import definition per project and/or import folder needs to be created. This will automatically process all compatible files in the specified import folder. Use multiple folders if different data types are imported.


  1. Navigate to Interfaces > Import & Export and Add [add] a new task. How to use this module in detail is described in the article: Delta Watch: Import & Export module. (see also link at the bottom)
  2. The following are the unique settings required to import tilt meter data:
    Setting Value
    Sensor type Set to Tilt meter
    Import type There are multiple choices here:
    • Senceive (*.CSV format)
    • VMT data format (*.CSV)
    • Geoscope customized

    See the bottom of this article for a link to the file format descriptions.


5. Configure data export

It is possible to export some of the fields from the Tilt sensor. This can be done in the Import & Export module under Interfaces.

  1. For details on how to create an Export task, read Delta Watch: Import & Export module (link at bottom).
  2. The unique settings required for tilt sensors are:
    Setting Value
    Sensor type Set to Tilt meter
    Import / Export Set to Export
    Export type VMT data format (*.CSV)
    Geotechnical sensors Select the actual sensors to use for the export.


6. Configure automatic reports

Automatic reports are a great way of distributing results on a regular basis to various parties. Navigate to the module Analysis > Reporting to configure. The description and image below show how to do this.

  1. Open the Automatic reports branch.
  2. Click on Add [add]. A dialog box shows where you can give this report a name.
  3. Configure the various fields as per the table:
    Setting Value
    Sensor field Select the sensor as created earlier.
    Output path Where the PDF report will be saved
    Start time Date/time when the first report should be generated
    Time interval How often the report should be generated
    Time span What time period the report should cover
  4. [optional] Configure emailing: This will email the actual report, NOT a download link.
  5. Apply the configuration.

Viewing and managing the data

One of the ways to view the data is in the Tilt meter module itself. The module allows you to do things such as:

  • View data in a chart or as tabulated values
  • View one-time data exports
  • Set a reference value
  • Disable specific data points
  • Delete a tilt record
  • Manually add a new record
  • Keep a log of events, reasons, or other notes
  • Make an instant report


To view the data

  1. Navigate to Project management > Tilt meter, and select which sensor field needs visualizing. By default, the Chart section will load with the first sensor and looks the same as when the sensors were placed on the background image as configured earlier.
  2. Set the time frame either by selecting a predefined time interval by clicking on the Time Interval button in the toolbar or be specifying a Start and End time and clicking on Display in the toolbar.
  3. Individual sensors can be Disabled/Enabled for display purposes by clicking on the check box on the left-hand side.
  4. For first time use, the scaling of the chart might not be correct. To customize the configuration, click the Chart Options button in the toolbar.
  5. If Limits and Alarms were configured, then these can be visualized by enabling them. If configured, their check box will be visible under the sensors.
  6. Changing the display units for this module is possible but will need to be done in the System configuration module under the section Units and decimal places > Sensor fields > Tiltmeter.


Applying offsets to tilt channels

It is possible to apply a so-called Reference reading to an individual tilt channel. This could be used to zero the data, for example. Currently only a single Reference reading per channel can be applied, and this affects ALL the data that can be viewed and exported for that sensor.

Reference readings can be applied in two ways:

  1. Using the Point and limit management module by editing each channel individually.
  2. Using the tilt meter module Tabulated data section, which is the preferred method.


Method 1: Using the Point and limit management module

  1. Navigate to the Sensor management section under Administration > Point and limit management.
  2. Select the Tilt sensor definition in the top half of the screen. All its channels will now load in the bottom half.
  3. Select the required channel, and open the Edit [edit] dialog box.
  4. Adjust the field called Reference measurement.
  5. Close the dialog box, and Apply the changes.
  6. Repeat for any other channels and/or sensors.
The Reference measurement can be entered in different units.
Simply select the required unit in the field Unit of raw data.

Method 2: Using the Tilt meter module (preferred method)

  1. Navigate to the Calculation section under the Project administration > Tilt meter module.
  2. Select the Sensor field, and load the data for the time interval of interest.
  3. Open the Tabulated section, and select the correct sensor on the left-hand side. Any available data will now show.
  4. Select calculation type: Absolute or Relative values.
  5. To set a new Reference, select the data entry for the correct time and right-click for the context menu.
  6. Select for which channel (X, Y, or Z) a new Reference value should be set, and confirm your action.
  7. To (de-)activate a reading, select the reading, and click on Edit [edit].
  8. Adjust the Is Valid field accordingly, and confirm the changes.
  9. In the same way a reading could be deleted if required. Simply select the Delete button [delete].

Create tilt sensors using the Point and Limit Management module

This is the alternative way of creating tilt sensors. This method might be preferred when many tilt sensors need to be configured at once.

Navigate to Administration > Point and limit management > Sensor management.

Read the article Delta Watch: Importing sensor definitions if many sensors need to be configured.

Manually adding a tilt meter

Click the Add [add] button. A dialog box opens for configuring the new sensor. There are some important fields here—some required, others optional.

Required fields:

Setting Value/Function
Name Sensor name; needs to match the name as found in the data file.
Active Check
Type Set to Tilt meter


Optional fields:

Some of these need to be completed if the sensors need to appear on, for example, maps.

Setting Value/Function
External name Allows for the use of a different name to be shown on maps/reports or used in data exports
Symbol Symbol to use on map views
Scale factor

A value to indicate the relative size of the symbol on a map compared with the symbol size of observations from the Point and limit management table

For positioning the sensor on maps used within Delta Watch
WGS84 Position Used for placement on maps in Delta Live!


When done, click OK. The sensor is now created, and the sensor fields are added. The result might look similar to the image below. Repeat the steps above for any other tilt sensors in the same project. Be sure to click Apply after adding a sensor to save the changes.

If the data for a sensor is imported from a GeoScope compatible format, then some sensor channels need to be renamed. See the section GeoScope customized in the article Delta Watch: File formats - Tilt Sensors, link at the bottom.

Using a .CSV import file

This is the alternative way of creating tilt sensors. This method might be preferred when many tilt sensors need to be configured at once.

Using an import file has the benefit of:

  • Importing many sensors quickly
  • Specifying custom symbols for map views
  • Specifying coordinates for visualization—both project coordinates and WGS84 for Delta Live!.
  • Assigning External names directly at import

Read the article Delta Watch: Importing sensor definitions if many sensors need to be configured (link at bottom).

For Tilt sensors, the Sensor type = 11.

Supported data formats

Multiple import data formats are supported, and upon request, additional formats could be added. For details on supported formats and their full description, see the article: Delta Watch: File formats – Tilt Sensors.