Geo Week News

July 13, 2004

NIST Creating Laser Scanner Performance Evaluation Facility

Standards for characterizing and measuring performance of laser scanners would be a boon to comparing instruments and picking the right tool for the job. Trouble is, for the most part they don’t exist. True, manufacturers publish a welter of specifications – range, spot size, angular resolution, beam spread, reflectivity response, laser power, on and on. But it’s hard if not impossible to tell from this how an instrument will perform in a given setting for a particular use. Plus, the way products are described varies widely from one manufacturer to another. But the
U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology is working to change all this. And they want your help.

No stranger to laser scanning, for more than five years NIST has been investigating use of the technology for remote management of construction sites and for navigating unoccupied military and commercial vehicles. Now NIST’s Construction Metrology and Automation Group (CMAG), in cooperation with the NIST Intelligent Systems Division, has launched a program to develop standard performance metrics, test objects, and evaluation facilities for laser scanners. We think the results of NIST’s work could make it much easier to effectively specify laser scanning projects, reduce project risks, and reassure workers and managers concerned about laser safety. If the details in this week’s SparView pique your interest and you want to participate, contact Geraldine S. Cheok, the project’s lead co-investigator, at [email protected] . Cheok, research structural engineer with CMAG, works with Dr. William C. Stone, P.E, leader of CMAG and principal investigator on the project. 

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