Mobile LiDAR – How Does It Work?

This can be more than you want or want to recognize about the complexity of a cell mapping machine (MMS), but for the ones of you involved, right here’s an explanation the common Joe can apprehend. When you have got a Mobile Mapping System arrive for your process website to perform a laser test, the gadget seems like little extra than an elegant piece of PVC strapped to the top of a four-wheel drive SUV. Don’t be fooled by way of its simple appearance. Inside is a contemporary miracle… A fashioning together of impartial and amazingly complicated structures that, when added collectively, produce what would have appeared impossible not so long ago. This little white field of marvel, while fired up, begins speaking with as many satellites in the area as it could locate. Positions are installed. Movement and headings are monitored at breathtaking velocity with each reading time stamped in order that every few seconds, whilst the computer catches its breath, the unbiased portions of information are perfectly spliced returned together in conjunction with complex corrections to expose an elegant reproduction of the surface that became simply pushed past. It is clearly a factor of beauty.

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Tech-savvy MMS vendors use this amalgamation of technology to provide its customers with cellular laser scanning offerings that produce an X, Y, Z factor cloud in State Plane or comparable coordinate structures. Here is an outline of the various technologies used and how they tie collectively to generate an accurate three-D description of the regions surveyed:


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How To Determine Position – GPS

Mobile Mapping Systems (MMS) use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to determine where we are at a given point in time. The accuracy of the raw GPS data isn’t adequate for our purposes so we use certainly one of three technologies to accurate the raw position facts. If we have a recognized control factor near the job, we can set up a GPS base station over that factor and use measurements of GPS role from the satellites to determine the difference among the measured and actual function of that point every 2d. This blunders or “differential” is then transmitted via radio link to the Mobile Scanner and the GPS facts accumulated by way of the Scanner every 2nd is corrected. This technique is known as Real Time Kinematic or RTK. If no manage factor is available, we can establish one and, the usage of enterprise preferred tools, decide its precise location at a later time. Using RTK, we can set up our function to within ±1 inch in Easting and Northing and ±2 inches in elevation.

The second method we use to decide our position is much like RTK but is named Virtual Reference Station or VRS. In this approach, we enroll in a provider that has some of the base stations (the VRS Network) installation in a given region. We use wi-fi data hyperlinks to get the GPS corrections from this Network and the facts from the GPS on the Mobile Scanner is corrected as in the RTK method. The accuracy of this system is corresponding to RTK.

The 0.33 technique we use to decide position makes use of OmniStar®, a personal satellite-based correction provider. It gives corrections in a manner just like VRS except that we use a satellite receiver to get hold of the facts in place of a wireless link. The accuracy of OmniStar® is slightly much less than RTK or VRS at ± four inches. We can mix and match this technology as essential – as an example, we will use RTK to do the scan, however, define the control point the use of the OmniStar® gadget to cast off the need for figuring out the manage point position later.

How To Measure Changes in Direction – Inertial Measurement Unit

Using our GPS technology, we degree our position appropriately about once consistent with 2d. However, we’re continuously converting course. At five miles per hour, we journey about 7 toes consistent with second. During that 2d, we may additionally change our course of travel (heading) by way of many tiers. The inertial measurement unit (IMU) measures modifications in scanner heading one hundred instances consistent with 2d. The accuracy of the IMU is ± zero.1 stages (~ zero.17 toes at a distance of 100 toes away). The function of the Mobile Scanner is robotically reset when it gets a new GPS role “restoration” every 2d so any small blunders from the IMU are not allowed to accumulate.

How To Collect Data of the Topography – The Laser Module

Using GPS technology and an IMU, we are able to maintain song of the exact position of the Mobile Scanner at each factor in time. The GPS and IMU are both established within the scanner housing. Outside the housing, we have a rotating laser module. This scanner has a distance measuring laser mounted at a right perspective to the path of a tour of the automobile or vessel. The laser measures 36,000 factors a 2nd, rotates up to 10 RPM and has a variety of as much as 450 feet. The accuracy of the space dimension is ~± 2 inches. The distance among factors is controlled by using the laser RPM and the velocity of the automobile. We commonly generate a point cloud with points ~zero.5 to two ft aside. The statistics can be thinned to lessen the size of the information sets if preferred. If better records insurance is required, the settings within the manipulate software program can be changed. The Mobile Scanner can scan some thing it’s far driven past above, under or to both facets of the scanner.

How To Correct for Uneven Ground – Pitch and Roll Sensors

The Mobile Scanner is mounted to a car or vessel. In a really perfect international, the ground or frame of water would be perfectly horizontal. Since this is glaringly no longer the case, we accurate the records with the aid of measuring the pitch (uphill or downhill attitude) and roll (left or proper angle) of the scanner the use of pitch and roll sensors. These gadgets degree pitch and roll 100 times per 2d to an accuracy of ± 0.01 tiers (~ 0.02 toes at a distance of 100 toes) Because these instruments measure the attitude of the Mobile Scanner so frequently, we can travel over rough terrain or in rough seas at affordable speeds without severely impacting the accuracy of the facts.


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Mobile LiDAR or Mobile Scanning as it is sometimes referred to as can provide formerly remarkable performance and accuracy in lots of survey programs. Whether you need to degree the number of your stockpiles, do special mine making plans, degree seashore erosion, determine flowers encroachment on application right of ways or solves a myriad of survey or engineering problems, Mobile LiDar can also offer the solution on your issues.