Geo Week News

March 1, 2018

Bluesky develops smartphone 3D mapping solution for infrastructure


Aerial mapping company Bluesky Innovation is developing a handheld solution to capture accurate 3D spatial information.

Backed by the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, Bluesky spent nine months investigating the use of standard smartphone technology to capture and calibrate video footage and then convert it to 3D information. Although Bluesky specializes in aerial survey solutions, including aerial photography, lidar, and thermal data, the company saw the need for a new solution after completing various tests of hardware, software and deployment options during the project.

The conclusion was “that in remote areas there were insufficient features, for example, road markings, lamp posts or buildings, to establish the required control.“ Therefore, together with ADAS, an independent agricultural and environmental consultancy and provider of rural development and policy advice, Bluesky “undertook rigorous testing of the solution establishing and documenting the field data capture process, identifying minimum hardware requirements, such as camera pixel capacity, and additional developments to the data delivery mechanism.”

The new mobile phone mapping tool can collect accurate measurements of essential infrastructures, such as overhead power lines and other utility facilities, which are then extracted by using specially developed algorithms and workflows.

“We know from previous work with ADAS, electricity companies and other utility service operators that by providing a more cost-effective data capture, analysis, auditing, and dissemination solution we will significantly decrease maintenance costs releasing essential funds for network upgrades and service improvements”, commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky. “We will also explore other applications of the solution in sectors such as forensics, insurance and emergency response.”

While aiming at a Q2 2018 release, Bluesky also expects its new solution to “appeal to electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNO) and other organizations with a dispersed asset base, as a low-cost measurement and auditing tool.”

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