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Lidar, an acronym for light detection and ranging, involves scanning objects and areas with lasers to produce digital, three-dimensional, representations of those surfaces. A lidar sensor emits laser pulses and measures the time each pulse takes to bounce off a surface and return to the sensor. Each return is stored and becomes one of billions of data points used to create a digital visualization of the scanned target. Lidar sensors are incredibly mobile, and can be operated from handheld devices, vehicles, and aircraft to produce digital models that are rich in metadata.
The versatility of these sensors and the accuracy of the results has allowed lidar to become integral to a variety of different industries. Digital models act as a snapshot of the real-world, and can inform construction projects, track environmental change, guide autonomous vehicles, reveal archeological wonders, and document infrastructure, among many other uses.
GEO1 acquires and processes lidar data and imagery for use in engineering analytics and vegetation encroachment reports. Our various deliverable formats accurately demonstrate current condition of infrastructure, and effectively convey potential threats from both grow-in and fall-in of vegetation and opportunities for electricity arcing between high voltage conductors.
Lidar data is collected using Riegl’s newest VQ480II, VUX240, or a custom Dual Lidar Sensor with two Riegl VUX1-LR scanners with an Applanix AV610 IMU and AV39 antenna. The GEO1 sensor configurations can be rigged to numerous helicopters using FAA-approved mounts.
After field verification and QC, raw data IMU & Lidar data enters a multistep processing pipeline. Initial steps utilize the Applanix POSPac software suite and involve raw IMU data processing, as well as the application of satellite corrections via Trimble Centerpoint PP-RTX. Trimble PP-RTX aided inertial processing enables robust centimeter level positioning to be achieved worldwide without reference stations.
Once a high accuracy inertial solution has been achieved, position and orientation data from the IMU is exported in the form of an SBET trajectory data file for input into Riegl laser scan data processing software. Utilizing the Riegl RiProcess application suite, raw scan data is extracted and integrated with the imported SBET trajectory for point cloud generation and visualization. Within the RiProcess environment, further QC of acquired scan data is performed through the import of ground control points when available.
Upon completion of scan data processing and QC, the point clouds are exported from RiProcess into industry-standard LAS or LAZ file formats. BayesMap StripAlign is an additional software tool available to ensure tight scan line alignment across multiple flight lines and flight missions. Utilizing StripAlign, relative and absolute uncertainties can be dramatically reduced depending on the number of strips and the amount of overlap between flight lines.
Beyond designing our own scanner systems, the GEO1 team evaluates every project with a new perspective to determine the best sensor platform. Our sensors work on drones, helicopters, airplanes, and ground vehicles.
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