Does your pulse quicken when you see those words?
Wikipedia describes a total station as “an electronic transit theodolite integrated with electronic distance measurement (EDM) to measure both vertical and horizontal angles and the slope distance from the instrument to a particular point, and an on-board computer to collect data and perform triangulation calculations.”
So it’s a clever beast, and a robotic one can be fixed somewhere inaccessible (like high up in the roof of the Longshed), and controlled remotely. It sounds just the job for recording and monitoring the dimensions of our ship as it gets built.
If you have any experience at all with total stations (or you know somebody who does), please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. Total stations are now widely used in civil engineering, and I would be very interested to talk through the issues with someone who has hands-on knowledge.