Geo Week News

September 22, 2009

SAM, Inc. Adds Optech LYNX System

SAM Inc Adds Optech LYNX - Image 1

Austin, Texas-based SAM, Inc. announced that it has added an Optech LYNX Mobile Mapping solution to its inventory. The company will feature this new technology in the Optech booth at the AREMA 2009 Conference to be held September 20-23 in Chicago. The Optech system was evaluated along with offerings from several other manufacturers. The decision on Optech was due to the engineering of the system and the amount of data it is able to collect, says SAM Senior Project Manager Gordon K. Perry, RPLS, PLS. To date, the system has been used on a multitude of internal projects around Austin and will be utilized on rail projects–a key industry for SAM–in the future. Perry says the company has teamed with nationally acknowledged consulting teams on rail projects and is short-listed for a major project in the Northeast. Perry says SAM’s mobile services will be offered nationwide.

SAM, Inc. has had scanning experience for years and owns a terrestrial-based ScanStation. Perry joined the firm in January of this year and was soon tasked to examine mobile scanning technology and product offerings for railway surveying as well as other industries. Perry has more than 10 years’ experience in the rail industry combined with measurement experience using GPS and conventional technology.

“There’s not that many surveyors that understand that railroads are very different from roads,” Perry says. “We won’t be the first [to use mobile on a non-road platform], but I told Sam [Hanna, president, SAM, Inc.] at the beginning that we need to get involved with this, or we’ll get run over.”

The key drivers for adopting mobile scanning for SAM include safety for personnel and the general public; the ability to provide a “more complete picture for a surveying and mapping request” (including both accuracy and amount and type of data collected); and data mining–the ability to scan something today to meet clients requests and to revisit the data later for further requests, which saves both the client and the company personnel time and travel cost to the field.

More and more users are finding that the remote technology of mobile scanning allows them the ability to manage rail, road, pipeline, waterway, electric transmission lines and design-build projects non-invasively and safely. We’ve reported on how mobile scanners have succeeded on roadways and bridges, on waterways and on rough terrain. Perry says a future application he looks forward to includes scanning the underside of shipyard docks that stand 20-30 feet apart and an equal distance in height. “The worst applications [for mobile scanning],” he says, “are those that nobody will come out and say.”

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