Geophysical Surveying With The Cat® S60 Thermal Camera Phone

Whether in the office or the field, surveyors will always be using the most reliable technology and software to get the best possible results.

In this episode of our #RuggedStories series, we interview Geophysical Surveyor Ed Cox, who tells us just how the Cat S60 benefits his day-to-day job.

“The Cat S60 smartphone offers the features and tough build required to survive a full field campaign of surveying.”

Meet Ed, the Geophysical Surveyor

Job title: Geophysical Project Engineer. My job role involves measuring ground electrical and mechanical properties non-intrusively, this additionally requires spatial and topographical land surveying skills.

Job summary: My job ranges from looking for buried objects to analysing rock layers without digging up all the ground. In the past I have been sent looking for Kings under car parks and looking for potential ww2 ordinance. The data needs to be accurately located for further intrusive investigation so much of the job involves a lot of spatial locating via GPS plotting.

Working Locations: Majority UK, but worldwide. Working locations have included the Sahara Desert, Northern Russia and the very exotic North Yorkshire moors.

Hazards of the job:   My work is based in the outdoors, often in remote and secluded areas. Most hazards relate to weather exposure whether it be hot and humid all the way to cold and frozen conditions. Rough terrain and inaccessibility is also a problem.


Benefits of the Cat S60

The Cat S60 boasts all the rugged qualities of the full range of Cat phones as well as leading smartphone innovation, thanks to the integrated thermal imaging camera.

Equipped with this technology, we wanted to understand from Ed, how the phone benefits his profession.

Which is your favourite app?

At the moment, we are required to scan barcodes on multiple geophones (a ground movement detection device) so they can wirelessly connect to a receiver unit.

The S60 and the Barcode to Sheet app allow me to do this in all weathers, where a standard smartphone would fail.

Additionally, I frequently use the phone as a mobile hotspot to provide internet sourced GPS corrections to spatial data.

“The S60 provides fantastic internet connectivity in remote and secluded areas and the phone screen also performs exceptionally well while wearing gloves, often a mandatory and site-wide requirement.”

I also use Email (Outlook/Gmail), Google Maps, FLIR and iGeology.

How do you use the thermal imaging camera?

The thermal imaging camera can provide information on fuel tank levels, wearing or stressed mechanical parts and survey locations by their heat signature.

“It is incredible how useful this feature [thermal camera] is and its many uses, I can’t count the number of times my colleagues have asked to use the S60 for its thermal camera.”


How suitable is the S60 to your working environment? 

The Cat S60 smartphone offers the features and tough build required to survive a full field campaign of surveying.

From use in the rain, being dropped and thrown around in a 4×4 over rough terrain, the phone has not failed me at all.

What was your last job?

My previous role was as a gold mine geologist in Western Australia. I spent my time underground sampling and recording mine tunnels for gold content and other geological properties as well as investigative borehole design and rock core logging. This gave me extensive experience in working in tough weather conditions and under production pressure.

What are the skills required for geophysical surveying? 

A geological or geophysical degree is required for a project engineer but no experience necessary for a technician’s role. However, you need to be very fond of the outdoors, and not mind working through very poor weather conditions. It helps to be a great problem solver and patient with kit when it breaks down.


Do you work in a tough outdoor role? Need a phone you can rely on? Learn how you can benefit from our range of Cat smartphones and mobiles.

To discover how else our customers are using the Cat S60, check out the rest of our #RuggedStories on our blog


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