3D Laser Scanning Services
Ed Holmes and Associates is excited to offer High Definition Laser Scanning & Surveying services to the Asheville and Western North Carolina Area. This is a relatively new technology that offers a tremendous increase in the number and types of things that can be measured and surveyed that could not be easily measured using other conventional surveying technologies. The addition of 3D Laser Scanning utilizing the Leica Scanstation 2 and Cyclone point cloud software represents a paradigm shift in how we think about surveying.
Archaeology, Cultural Preservation & Earth Science
Industrial & Plant Applications
Settlement and Deformation Monitoring
3D Visualization & Virtual Reality Modeling
What is Laser Scanning?
Laser Scanning is a process by which survey point data is acquired at such a resolution that details and shapes of objects can be made out in what is termed a “cloud” of x,y,z point data. The scanner uses robotic mirror and rotation control coupled with a laser rangefinder and internal digital camera to capture a project site from a given point of view. The time of flight of the laser beam from when it is emitted from the scanner to when the refracted return is received is measured against the speed of light to determine the distance to each point, while a mirror tilts to advance the laser position, gathering those points in a vertical line. The scanner turns in tiny horizontal increments to capture successive vertical lines of scan points, travelling 360 degrees around its axis. This is accomplished at a rate of up to 50,000 points per second. Additional scans might be made in other locations on the site, for example, so all sides of a building can be included in the same cloud. Once this data is acquired, the scans are aligned in a registration process, and noise that might have been collected, like cars passing through the scan area on a busy roadway, can be cleaned from the data. The resultant cloud of points represents not only an image of the site or object scanned, but each of the dots represent survey grade accurate data points, between which, highly accurate measurements can be made for the basis of design, construction, evaluation, and visualization. If the project surveyor has oriented the project to a geographic reference system, every point in the cloud can represent a real-world coordinate and elevation. 3D digital models can be built from the point cloud for use in various applications. Video: How Laser Scanning Works (Link to Youtube.com)
Sample 3D Laser Scan Image
How can Laser Scanning be used?
Laser Scanning can be used in a wide variety of applications:
- Highly accurate floor plans & sections in an existing building
- Precise elevation views of existing buildings
- Acquisition of context information for adjacent buildings, especially in historic districts
- Architectural details can be scanned for replication for repairs, etc.
- Example: United Kingdom Surveyors Anglia Land Surveys LTD using 3D laser scanning for Architecture
- Precise information for tie in of expansions to existing buildings.
- Scan Data can provide pre-construction topographic and location information for a wide variety of civil engineering projects including roadways, parking areas, storm water detention structures, wastewater treatment facilities, buildings, and more.
- As-built information for water and wastewater treatment facilities can be more easily scanned and measured than it could be located by a traditional survey crew. Pipe diameters and tank dimensions can be calculated from as-built scan data.
- Large storage tanks can be scanned to determine their volume. Volumetric data can be used to calibrate gauges on tanks.
- Example: Use of Laser Scanning for Civil Engineering
- Example: American Surveyor Magazine Article on Laser Scanning Levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
- Example: Professional Surveyor Laser Scanning Issue
Archaeology, Cultural Preservation & Earth Science:
- Create archival records of landmarks & Cultural resources(www.cyark.org)
- Video: Cyark Pompeii Project (YouTube)
- Example: Laser scanning used as monitoring for scientific studies
Industrial & Plant Applications:
- As built data of plant buildings and processes facilitates fabrication of replacement parts & repairs for shorter downtimes
- Scans of existing facilities allow design and for expansion and process improvement
- Example: Israeli company Mabat provides industrial & Plant scanning services
- Scans can be made throughout the construction process for quality control and assurance, potentially saving thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquidated damages for project delays.
- Foundation Surveys and Anchor Bolt Surveys to make sure pre-fabricated steel packages will install smoothly.
- Building Pad elevation verification and surveyor’s certifications.
- When things aren’t built to plan, quick as-built data is needed to prevent costly delays and allow for speedy solutions for getting back on track.
- As built data of the roughed in structure can be easily acquired for installers including wall and floor systems, windows, doors, elevators, etc, allowing systems to be pre-fabricated to the roughed in structure, saving money in material waste and costly on-site fabrication.
- Scan surveys can help in determination of completed percentage of project for payment authorizations.
- Example: Canadian company SCDS using laser scanning for evaluation of elevator shaft construction.
- Newly constructed concrete slabs and other surfaces can be scanned to determine if any gross deviations exist from level so these can be addressed before continuing construction.
- Building Retrofits: Scan data inside vacant buildings can help potential tenants or purchasers assess a given building as being suitable for their use. This same data can be used to design infrastructure and processes to fit within the existing building to speed startup of the business. Measurable site data can be presented and measured in Leica’s TruView web viewer.
Settlement and Deformation Monitoring:
- Buildings, Dams, Bridges and other structures can be monitored for motion and settlement by comparison of subsequent point clouds (thousands or millions of points) instead of a few representative points (tens of points).
- Airport Runways can be scanned in high definition with minimal closure time and analyzed for deterioration of the surface or subsidence in the subgrade.
- Walls can be scanned and modeled to determine the extent of any bulge and monitored for changes over time.
3D Visualization & Virtual Reality Modeling:
- Scanning and modeling of Golf Courses, high end homes, race tracks and other high profile sites for use in creating visualization tools for proposals, presentations or marketing. Modeling & Fly through animation can be created from point cloud data to help in conveying project ideas.
- Many older public park sites can not be fully accessed by those with disabilities. Photo and Video documentation along with 3D modeling can help bridge the interpretation gap in bringing the resources to these individuals.
A variety of end products can be delivered from the laser point cloud. For users who are familiar with point cloud processing and have software to process them we can deliver the whole cloud set via FTP. Other clients may desire one or more of the following:
- 2D CAD Data in plan, elevation, or cross section view
- 3D CAD Data
- A 3D CAD Model fit to the point cloud data.
- Animated Fly Throughs of the point cloud in movie format.
- Text files or DXF files of the point data
These are but a few of the currently know options and uses for laser scanning technology. New uses are being thought of every day by working professionals. How can laser scan data help your business, and how can we help?