Points & Pixels

A 2.856Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE

Mapping Large Limestone Mine
In late 2014, Maptek surveyed the extensive underground workings of the Lafarge Conco limestone mine near North Aurora, Illinois. Lafarge needed a map of the workings to check that the mine design was being followed and that the pillars were not being undermined. Careful coordination with other equipment operators ensured production was not impeded and staff remained safe.

The 125 scanning aperture of the Maptek I-Site 8200 laser scanner gave good overhead coverage in the tunnels, which range from 100 to 2,100 feet long. Setups averaged 90 feet apart, using multiple point density settings for different purposes. Tripod setups allowed instrument height and azimuth to be determined. Higher resolution 360 scans provided extra detail. The scanner was then transported on a bobcat to conduct stop-go scanning at drift intersections. Lower resolution scans averaged 2 million points, collecting about 1.3 billion raw points of data overall.

Point cloud data was registered to the survey data, and a triangulated 3D surface was generated. Mid-rib contours, showing areas that had been mined, were created at requested elevations, and polylines exported for use in CAD software. Other deliverables included scan coordinate locations in various formats, 3D PDFs and field notes showing intersection names. Screen captures with structural orientations as strike and dip provide excellent detail for geotechnical analysis of large structures, faults and bedding planes.

Lafarge now has a comprehensive 3D map of its underground workings for planning, operations and future closure studies. Ten days of data collection, plus 2-3 weeks for processing the point. cloud data, was a significant reduction on the 3 months estimated for conventional survey.

Maptek is a leading provider of innovative software, hardware and services for global mining. Maptek solutions are used at more than 1700 sites in 75 countries, with applications across the mining cycle. Maptek develops industry-leading software for mine evaluation, planning, design, scheduling, operation and rehabilitation. Integrated hardware and software for 3D laser scanning, surveying and imaging collects spatial data for geotechnical analysis, stockpile measurement, design conformance and movement tracking.

For more information, please visit www.maptek.com.

Guided by Velodyne 3D LiDAR Sensor, Embry-Riddle Entry Takes First Place in RoboBoat Competition
Smart things come in small packages. Just ask the RoboBoat team from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (roboticsassociation. org), which successfully defended its title as champions in the eighth annual RoboBoat Competition, held last summer in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Outfitted with Velodyne’s compact 16-channel 3D VLP-16 LiDAR Puck, the pilotless Embry-Riddle vessel crossed the finish line ahead of the 15 other teams participating in the event, which was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation (AUVSI) and several industry partners. The VLP-16 from Velodyne’s LiDAR Division (www. velodynelidar.com) is part of a growing family of solutions built around the company’s Light Detection and Ranging technology.

A year ago, Embry-Riddle finished first with a boat that incorporated Velodyne’s 32-channel HDL-32E LiDAR sensor. "Our performance in the RoboBoat competition was made possible for the second year in a row by the amazing Velodyne sensor," says first-year student and team lead Kelsey Klein. "The Velodyne VLP-16 puck is an integral part of our autonomous vessel, and pairing it with our robust identification and classification algorithms gave us the edge to successfully complete the aquatic obstacle course."

Hailing from places as far-flung as Indonesia, Taiwan, and South Korea, teams were evaluated based on the performance and designs of their student-built vessels. The mandatory tasks measured vessel speed, navigation and propulsion. Among the other challenges: automated docking, obstacle avoidance, launch and recovery from a moving boat, return to dock, and acoustic beacon positioning.

"The Embry-Riddle team’s success was largely due to Velodyne’s continued support, this time with the quick turnaround of a VLP-16 unit," says Hitesh Patel, former team member and now a consultant. "Last year, we were the first team to debut the HDL-32E and this year, with Velodyne’s state-of-the-art sensors, we continue to prove the benefits of Velodyne LIDAR products in today’s autonomous technology applications. The team loved the VLP-16 sensors just as much as they did the HDL-32E. Having used the HDL-32E made it easier for the team to integrate the VLP-16 onto the RoboBoat platform."

"Our 3D LiDAR sensors guide autonomous vehicles on land, on the seas and in air, and our hats are off to Embry-Riddle University for retaining its crown," says Mike Jellen, Velodyne president. "We’re recognized worldwide for developing real-time LiDAR sensors for all kinds of autonomous applications, including 3D mapping and surveillance. With a continuous 360-degree sweep of its environment, the lightweight, extremely affordable VLP-16 is scanning power in a pint-size package–and is ideal for taking on obstacle courses, wherever they may be."

Adds Kelly Cooper, program officer, sea warfare and weapons, ship systems and engineering research division, Office of Naval Research, "the [RoboBoat] course provides students with realistic maritime environment missions. The successes and challenges students experience via the competition are good preparation for a future in engineering. From completing a run to making onsite adjustments, RoboBoat offers students a first-hand look at what real-life engineers go through when developing and testing navy technologies for our sailors and Marines."

For more information, visit: www.velodynelidar.com

LiDAR Data Collection, Feature Extraction, and Mapping Services for TWA Historic Flight Center
Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. (Langan) provided static and mobile LiDAR data collection, feature extraction, and mapping services for the TWA Historic Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City for MCR Development. Langan deployed Leica P20 Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS) and its Leica Pegasus 2 Mobile Mapping System (MMS) within JFK Airport and collected integrated video logging and LiDAR data for the project area.

The overall need of the project was to TLS scan the interior of the TWA facility and to use the MMS for the external scanning to generate BIM models and a full topographic map of the area. The TLS scans were integrated with the MMS scans to create a seamless LiDAR point cloud of the facility. Langan placed survey ground control points and TLS targets within the project limits to register the LiDAR data with. Langan’s LiDAR point cloud data was survey grade accurate.

For more information, please visit www.langan.com.
A video can be found here: vimeo.com/137277493

Accurate Documentation of Danbury Ct Construction Site
This Project is called "Rivington", and is located in Danbury Ct. It consists of over 250 residential units and a large clubhouse facility. The Developer is Toll Brother Inc. based out of Pennsylvania. The project consisted of many Geotechnical challenges. There was about 500,000 cubic yards of material to be moved on the site. About 200,000 yards consisted of bedrock that would need to be blasted and processed on site, and 300,000 yards of soil. The soil presented the biggest challenge on the project as its moisture content was elevated and it would require augmenting a large percentage of this soil with lime to lower its moisture levels to allow proper compaction of these materials. The management and proper use of these various onsite earth materials would be critical to the success of the overall project.

We started this project in 2012 and have flown it consistently for the past 3 years. We fly the project as required to capture data. This data has allowed us to accurately document how the site was progressing as it related to mass earthwork calculations. This was critical in the early stages of mass earthwork, as we were able to very quickly and accurately see our progress and management of these materials and also provide proof of earthmoving and soil augmentation quantities completed within a billing cycle to our customer. This data created trust between our customer and us and allows the billing and payment cycles to flow easily throughout the project.

The data that we would capture consists of a high-resolution geolocated image and point cloud: Resolution: 4 cm per pixel; Points per Square Meter: 50. We found the accuracy to be on par with our typical GPS rover and we could capture that in a couple hours as opposed to the few days it would take to accurately topo the entire site. This timesaving allowed us to easily and cost effectively topo the entire site as often as we wanted.

3D Services is a 3D Laser Scanning and Aerial Topography company based in Hamden, Connecticut and is a branch of Sweeney Excavation. We started as Sweeney Excavations in house survey and topo department and have branched out to offer our services to other companies in the North East. 3D Services offers indoor, outdoor and underwater laser scanning as well as aerial imaging, topography and infrared imaging. For more information contact, Ryan Sweeney, www.ThreeD-Services.com.

CartoConsult Visibility Mapping Supports Successful Planning Application
A before and after photomontage, created by CartoConsult, has helped to secure planning permission for a quarry extension in Kent. Working with DB Landscape Consultancy (DBLC) on behalf of site owners Ferns, CartoConsult prepared the high resolution photomontage to illustrate the potential visibility of the proposed extension to the existing Wrotham Quarry.

Located within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB), and a former Dr Who filming location, objection to the extension from the AONB Management Unit and various other parties was considerable. Using the photomontage, DBLC was able to demonstrate that the potential visual impact of the proposed development on people walking on the slopes of the Kent Downs would not be as significant as claimed.

DBLC was originally commissioned to design the working and restoration scheme for the proposed–now approved–extension, by the former site owners Hanson Aggregates, before ownership of the quarry changed to Ferns, who successfully completed the planning application.

DBLC was also commissioned to prepare a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), which included preparation of a Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) plan. This ZTV identified a number of key viewpoint locations from which the source imagery for CartoConsult’s photomontage was captured. Once collated and georeferenced, the photomontage, complete with detailed written commentary, was submitted within the LVIA to support the planning application.

"Working with CartoConsult, we were able to provide easy to interpret, visual evidence to support the site owner’s plans for expansion and restoration," commented David Brittain, Director of DBLC. "The topography of the landscape and the sensitivity of its AONB location contributed to both the importance of the project and some of the difficulties encountered during the various stages of the planning application.

"CartoConsult provided a first class service throughout, responding in a knowledgeable and timely manner to both the initial scope of work as well as feedback as the project commenced."

CartoConsult provides geospatial services that include surveying, data capture, mapping and 3D modelling. The company employs some of the world’s most progressive GIS and 3D technology to create reliable, cost effective and visually stunning products that significantly enhance the planning, consultation and delivery of projects.

For more information contact: Tim Hughes, tel +44 (0)7764759064 or tim.hughes@cartoconsult.co.uk, www.cartoconsult.co.uk.

North Carolina DOT, Intersection of US 17 and Dock St. in Wilmington
The scope of the work consisted of providing laser scanning for the intersection and approaches for safety improvements. The deliverables were a DTM mapping of the intersection and approaches and 2D mapping, including pavement breaklines, curb & gutter, paved shoulder and EOT, face of brick walls, stormwater structures, above physical features of underground utilities, sanitary sewer structures. Included also in the mapping, all sidewalks, grassy areas, stop bars and all poles. We also submitted the scan data to NCDOT.

The first picture is the scan data (intensity map), after registration and cleanings. We used a Leica P20 for scanning, and Leica Cyclone for registration and extracting the above ground features (poles, signs, trees…). The second picture is as the first, with images from the scanner attached. The last picture is the final 2D mapping submitted to NCDOT, that was done with Bentley MicroStation using the scan data.

The project took about five hours overall to do the job. There were some conventional surveys involved, to bring survey ground controls to the site, tie our scanner target control points to known coordinates. After registering all the scans together, our accuracy was 0.008 ft.

We submitted a DTM (3D) drawing in MicroStation, and a 2D drawing. The engineers at NCDOT will be using the data for the design on improving the intersection.

Fabien Lukeba, HDS Project Manager, CH Engineering, PLLC, 3220 Glen Royal Rd., Raleigh, NC 27617, Phone 919-788-0224, flukeba@ch-engr.com, www.ch-engr.com

Hohokam Baseball Stadium and Fitch Park, Mesa, AZ
This spring training baseball stadium and practice park in Mesa, Arizona used to be owned by the Oakland A’s, but was taken over by the Chicago Cubs. The new owners wanted to make a few changes. W.E. O’Neil Construction was contracted to perform the renovations, and they hired WHPacific’s Phoenix office to perform LiDAR and surveying services on the two sites.

To perform the data extraction on this project, color point cloud data was not strictly necessary, but WHPacific made the decision to collect all of it with color anyway. If you’ve ever done any LiDAR digitizing, you know that identifying objects in the point cloud is much easier when it’s in color. And besides, it makes for some very cool eye candy for the marketing team!

On a professional baseball field, the grass must be perfectly uniform across the entire surface. If stepped on at just the right angle, a clump in the grass can wreck a multi-million dollar player’s ankle, and possibly their career. Imagine a center-fielder running to catch a pop-fly, watching the ball (as he should) and not the ground. The data for the entire expanse of playing surfaces had to be scrutinized at one tenth of a foot to make sure there were no traps waiting to retire an unsuspecting player.

LiDAR technician, Luke Bingham and surveyor Tony Slater scanned both sites over 5 days. They started by picking the best scanner for the job, and chose a Riegl VZ-400 terrestrial scanner. Its range and accuracy allows for target scanning over very long distances, allowing them to tie in control targets over a wide area. Another deciding factor is its top-mounted Canon camera, which can take enough images to color a full 360 degree scan in about 2 minutes. It took three and a half days and 32 scans to capture the stadium site, which is 46 acres with several buildings, bleachers, equipment barns, parking lots, trees, and, of course grass–lots of grass. The practice field (28 acres with far fewer obstructions, but still had grass–lots of grass) took about a day and a half and 19 scan setups.

For more information call 602.343.7851

3D Laser Mapping
A scan was taken in Nottingham, England, in order to show how StreetMapper can be used to build a basic city model. This sort of application is useful for a GIS data base.

Data was collected using the StreetMapper solution with a dual laser scanner system mounted on a moving vehicle. The points per SqM is 2000.

3D Laser Mapping has been selling and developing mobile mapping system `StreetMapper’ since 2004. Here is just one example of the various ways in which the reliable and accurate data produced can be used.

3D Laser Mapping is a world leading provider of laser scanning technology. We offer solutions that capture 3D data and then process this data to deliver information for making decisions.

Headquartered in Bingham, near Nottingham in the UK, the company employs over 35 highly trained, specialist staff. We achieve global reach through our branch offices in South Africa, USA and Australia as well as our network of international distributors.

We pride ourselves in offering the very best technical support in the business and run dedicated training packages and consultancy services to suit each customer’s need.

3D Laser Mapping is proud to serve our hundreds of customers which include mining companies, governments, academic institutions and blue-chip owners & operators of assets such as highways, power lines, railways and buildings to name but a few.

For more information and to see more data produced by the system, head to the StreetMapper page on our website. www.3dlasermapping.com.

A 2.856Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE