Geo Week News

March 2, 2009

Mobile Scanning at SPAR 2009

Demand for mobile scanning/mapping services and solutions is beginning to pop. SPAR 2009 features some of the world’s most experienced and capable people in this emerging market, many of them included in Lieca Hohner’s article in this month’s POB magazine

Mobile data capture has the potential to disrupt traditional surveying business models — some say even more than GPS did. But make no mistake–there’s an important role for surveyors who embrace it.

Here’s a summary of the mobile scanning/mapping presentations at SPAR 2009:

Extreme Mobile Mapping

Ray Mandli, president, Mandli Communications, Inc.

Mandli Communications, Inc. is currently undertaking the first statewide terrestrial-based mobile LIDAR survey performed in the United States. Contracted by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Mandli is collecting LIDAR data from a vehicle traveling at posted highway speeds, and is processing over one million points per second using the latest technology available. The full resolution LIDAR data will provide advanced visualization options, as well as a robust database of asset extraction information, for over 27,000 lane miles that will include every state-maintained road in Tennessee. The delivered data will be capable of being fully integrated with the Tennessee DOT’s existing management software, the Transportation Road Information Management System (TRIMS), developed by Intergraph. This enterprise marks the first ever occurrence of an all-encompassing state road collection project of this scope and resolution.

Sustainability with Mobile Laser Scanning

Ron Singh, PLS, Oregon Department of Transportation, andMarcus Reedy, PLS, David Evans and Associates, Inc.

Mapping with mobile laser scanning is sustainable and reduces our carbon footprint.  While attending this presentation, you will learn from the Oregon Department of Transportation perspective, about the use and benefits of mobile laser scanning. In addition, a project summary and calculations on how mobile laser scanning can reduce the carbon footprint and improve sustainability will be shown. 

WHPacific: In for a Penny, In for a Pound

Clay Wygant, senior surveyor, WHPacific

Wygant will report on WHPacific’s early experiences with mobile scanning using the Optech Lynx Mobile Mapping System and how the company’s business model continues to evolve from static scanning project work.  Wygant will salt his discussions about the business side of deploying expensive technologies, namely how WhPacific has won new business and partnered with its clients, with some accounts of his field experiences on projects as diverse as static scanning on not-so-frozen lakes of Northern Utah to scanning the “Bridge of the Americas” International Border Crossing in El Paso, Texas in 108° heat.

Case Study: Mobile Scanning – Can it be Used for Design Surveys?

Kent Stewart, Woolpert, Inc.

Ground-based mobile scanning services, which complement static LiDAR and other conventional survey field collection technologies, are in increased demand. Faster speeds and measurement rates coupled with more sophisticated image capture capability are creating significant opportunities and challenges for users and their customers who buy the services. With these new challenges, is ground-based mobile scanning accurate enough for engineering design surveys? Since these systems are considered a newly emerging technology, manufacturers are being very cautious about quoting accuracies. It seems that they are going under the premise of under promise/over deliver – or are they?

This paper will discuss the side of the technology equation that equipment manufacturers are hesitant to address: accuracy of the solution and ways to improve these accuracies if the “out-of-the-box” accuracies do not meet a project’s needs. The paper will also explore integrated workflow concepts, which can create more efficient data processing sessions to deliver what the customer is paying for, which is information and not necessarily point clouds.

Mapping the Veneto Road Inventory

Augusto Burchi, SITECO Informatica S.r.l.

The creation of the Veneto Road Inventory (2,000 km) has required a mapping solution with high productivity and precision. Siteco Informatica’s RoadScanner system allows all that, combining the most advanced technologies in terms of position and image acquisition with the FARO laser scanner to achieve a full, fast and accurate survey of the whole infrastructure, in a way compliant to Italian laws and  without holding up the traffic flow.

During the survey images from the 5 high-resolution cameras are collected every 3m. The laser scanner measures 120,000 points per seconds, producing cross sections of 2,500 points every 20-40 cm, depending on the vehicle speed.

The post-processing software allows automatic mapping out the vehicle route, geo-referencing images and scanning, and integrating all the data in a GIS database.

The Road-SIT Survey photogrammetric application is then used to combine and overlap the scan data to the images. The Asset Inventory (pavements, signs, markings, carriageways, sidewalks, slopes, retaining walls, tunnels, bridges, guard rails, etc. ) and the detailed topographic survey can be extracted to a relational geo-database in a very simple and quick way.

The RoadScanner includes special equipments and software to analyze the pavement conditions,: a profilometer for evaluating the roughness, IRI survey, and a ground penetrating  GeoRadar for the inspection of the asphalt layers and of the sub-base conditions.

Train Conformity Check System: 3D Measurement of Passing Trains

Dr. Heinrich Hoefler, deputy director, Fraunhofer IPM

To reduce the residual risk of accidents in railway tunnels, a wayside-based safety system is currently being developed that detects possible defects and hazardous conditions in rolling stock. Rail tunnels are characterized by a higher-than-average risk density, principally because of the severity of the consequences of accidents, with special reference to both the direct losses and rail line unavailability, e.g., in case of major fire events. An outstanding series of severe accidents around the year 2000, mostly in European road and rail tunnels, contributed to the decisions by rail technology providers and by rail network operators to undertake further research and technology developments for tunnels safety. We are reporting about the new system and, in particular, about the optical 3D meters, which are currently under test.

Combining Scan Data from Disparate Sources: Florida DOT Case Study

Allen Nobles, president, Allen Nobles & Associates, Inc. and David Ward, business development director, Terrapoint

The purpose of the presentation is to compare scanner data sets using an actual intersection survey completed to meet Florida DOT survey standards. The base survey was completed using standard total stations, data collectors and electronic levels in the field and processed using Caice software. The project was then surveyed with both a ground-based scanner (a Leica Scan-Station) and a mobile scanner (a Titan) using the same survey control. The presentation will show how each unit worked and compare the data results. It will also cover a review of some of the problems faced in how to compare data from different units and how to define the results.  Some cost comparisons will also be made.

High-Accuracy Bore Sighting of Merged Sensors

Bobby Tuck, president, Tuck Mapping Solutions, Inc.

The accurate geo-referencing of the new digital sensors is critical to the delivery of an accurate survey.  Merging of LIDAR and a digital camera on a helicopter to produce mapping that is accurate to 1/2-1 inch vertically and 3-4 inches horizontally is an intense iterative process.  Riegl RiProcess software and Applanix CalQC provide the surveyor with the tools to complete these tasks.

This talk will explain the steps to calibrate the integrated system of the Riegl 560 scanner with the Applanix DSS digital camera. A high-accuracy ground survey of a calibration site coupled with careful utilization of each phase of the software makes this accuracy possible.

Mobile Scanning in the New Economy

Michael Frecks, principal, Terrametrix LLC

Engineering firms and DOTs will learn how to leverage mobile scanning technology on civil transportation projects tagged by the government in coming years. Learn how to validate proposed shovel-ready jobs within hours and compare past and current DTMs quickly, efficiently and safely with survey-grade accuracy. Software advancements have improved real-time capture capabilities allowing schedules to be compressed almost 10:1, requiring fewer people in the field and in the “red zone,” and providing more safety for the traveling public by omitting road closures. Mr. Frecks will share his experiences using 3D Laser Mapping’s StreetMapper on long corridors, in urban canyons and under bridges while illustrating comparisons with traditional surveying and static scanning. Secondary markets for mobile scanning, including emergency response areas, will also be highlighted.

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