Assessing Fire-Damaged Concrete

Engineering research at The University of Nottingham, UK and Ningbo, China (UNNC) has found laser scanning is a new and viable structural safety technique to detect the damaging effects of fire on concrete.

It takes temperatures in excess of 300 C in order for the structural integrity of concrete to be affected.

One of the researchers commented,”A comparative analysis of the laser intensity for heated and unheated concrete showed that the recorded intensity values for heated concrete are higher than those of unheated concrete. In fact, the laser intensity values of heated concrete showed a remarkable increase in the concrete exposure temperatures from 250°C to 1,000°C.”

He continued, “Such a correlation between the intensity and the exposure temperature is of cardinal importance in assessing the condition and extent of damage to concrete. This finding implies it could be possible to use laser intensity to detect the state of concrete whether it has been heated or not.”

Click here for more info.

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Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning Webinar

bentleyLaser scanning or photogrammetry?  On most projects the answer is often both. When a high level of detail is not required, taking photos is typically much faster and more cost effective, but when you need greater accuracy, the laser scanner is often going to be the right tool for the collection of 3D data. The challenge occurs when you need more geographic coverage than there is time to scan, or there is a need to share the data with a larger group of distributed stakeholders than point clouds readily allows, or there is more precision required than traditional photogrammetric reconstruction alone can offer.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a software environment that could manage both while at the same time reducing the issues surrounding file sizes?

Well now there is. By combining laser scanning and photogrammetry, Bentley Systems’ ContextCapture provides a new hybrid 3D data processing environment that enables you to input any combination of photos and terrestrial laser scanned data (soon to support aerial laser scanning).  The technique allows you to produce high accuracy reality meshes which are ideal for downstream use in virtually any engineering analysis and/or design workflow since they are much easier to manage in terms of file sizes and storage and because they are more visually interpretable.

To explain all of this Bentley Systems is offering an important webinar on December 15 at 1 PM EST where you will learn how this breakthrough innovation allows you to leverage the best available imagery in order to produce highly precise models and cost-effectively capture much larger areas to provide both breadth and depth of 3D contextual models of the real world.

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Looking Ahead

south-dakota-capitol-2Ryan Hacker, industry veteran and the President of TruePoint Laser Scanning, LLC with the help of his team publishes an informative, quarterly industry eNewsletter. We decided to provide this as a guest In the Scan blog post. Let me know if you have predictions of your own for the coming year that you would like to share.

An Industry Look Ahead At 2017

The end of the year brings no greater joy than the opportunity to send you our warmest wishes for the holidays.  We appreciate your business and look forward to working with you in the New Year.  This time of year, I often get asked about what we see for the coming year.  As we look ahead to 2017, we see a number of trends in laser scanning.

  • Laser scanners and software will continue to improve. The new Leica Autodesk BLK360 Scanner with thermal imaging is small and lightweight, adding to niche-scanning capabilities. Software improvements and new software will increase automation and the speed of utilizing scan data.
  • Laser scanning for Engineers will continue to grow at an accelerated rate as more and more firms are repeat users of the technology and are starting to understand its place in their workflow. Firms will find more technical and specific uses for laser scan technology.
  • General Contractors have embraced the technology and probably have the most to gain from laser scanning.  Progress scanning will continue to grow in this industry to uncover potential issues long before they become a costly problem.
  • Drones will continue to grow in popularity, but still won’t play an integral part of laser scanning yet… however, photogrammetry will assist in the overall AEC field.
  • We’ll see more kinetic scanning for interior applications, but most likely not in 2017 as the accuracy isn’t quite there yet.
  • Applications outside the mainstream are utilizing laser scan technology in ways most of us never imagine, such as forest ecology and studying earthquakes and landslides.

How can we help you in 2017? Laser scanning is our passion and you are our priority. Call us today at 419-843-SCAN (7226) or email us at

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More Details on the BLK360

leica-blk360-702x336I had the opportunity today to speak with three of the key people behind the BLK360 product offering recently announced by Autodesk and Leica Geosystems. The first is Aaron Morris, Senior Manager of Reality Solutions at Autodesk, Hugh Baertlein, Product Marketing and Simon Mark, Project Manager both from Leica Geosystems.

To be clear the BLK360 is scheduled for a spring 2017 release so many things can change in 6 months, but for the early adopters there is a way to get to be one of the first to own the system by visiting this website and signing up using the “Reserve Now” link. It might be a challenge in the early release to keep up with the demand.

The following items were discussed:

  1. Leica Geosystems is basically responsible for the hardware and Autodesk is leading the software side of the product development.
  2. The scanner is capable of storing 40 to 60 scans, but the system has been designed to primarily transfer the data via Wi-Fi.
  3. The first release will have support for ReCap Mobile running on the iPad Pro only.
  4. The data can be stored in the cloud or offline with a lap top.
  5. One primary motivation is to move the registration process into the field so that customers can see when they have a problem and make the corrections in real time.
  6. Control can be added in the desktop version of ReCap 360 Pro, if needed.
  7. The scanner will include cameras, an infrared sensor and the scanner. A complete data collection is designed to take just 3 minutes.
  8. The system will include the sensor and a one-year subscription to ReCap 360 Pro which includes all of the platforms.
  9. The suggested retail price is $15,990.
  10. The system will be sold through the Leica Geosystems eStore.
  11. The bundle is intended to target customers who do not currently use a scanner.

This has the potential to be a game changer as it is likely to help with the democratization of the technology.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available and let me know if you have any questions.

Posted in Business Development, Sensors, Technology, The Industry | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

ILMF 2017 Program Announced

ilmfDiversified Communications has announced the program and presenters for ILMF 2017 which is being held in Denver, CO February 13 – 15, 2017.

The main conference program begins with two sessions on GML and SPL. Geiger-Mode LiDAR and Single-Photon LiDAR: What’s the Difference & Why Does it Matter? and Reporting Out: GML/SPL Applied to Large-Scale Projects, including lessons learned from the nation’s first statewide program to leverage Geiger-mode technology (North Carolina), will provide answers to the many questions geospatial professionals have about these new technologies. Sensor characteristics, data density, accuracy and stability of point clouds and filtering techniques will all be addressed. Presenters in the sessions include representatives from USGS, University of Houston, North Carolina Emergency Management, ESP Associates, USDA NRCS National Geospatial Center of Excellence as well as a panel discussion with key manufacturers.

It looks like an important event and a great way to kick off the new year.

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, bathymetric, Business Development, Conferences, remote sensing, Research, The Industry | Leave a comment

Singapore in 3D

singapore_-_20110224Singapore has long been a leader in the use of GIS technology. They are currently taking geospatial data management to the next level – the intelligent 3D level, with the help of a number of individuals and companies. This is good news for the 3D laser scanning/lidar industry. A tremendous amount of 3D data needs to be collected and maintained in order for a “Smart City” to function.

One of the companies taking the lead on this is Dassault, a French company that many of may not be aware of, but they are a major player in the CAD world and are now advertising on CNBC with the corporate tag line of “The 3D Experience Company.” I am a big believer in the power of these branding messages as they can be an important marketing tool as well as an internal focus and rallying cry for the employees.

It has always seemed a lot simpler to tackle an island such as Singapore as compared to a country such as the U.S. or Germany. That said it is still a daunting task to build a 3D model of any city, particularly if you want to include the buildings and the underground utilities which to me are essential. Getting that “last mile” of data is really hard to do, however Singapore is including indoors in their vision of their 3D governance model.

It will be interesting to see the progress that Singapore makes and to leverage their experience in other cities and countries around the world. Helsinki and Budapest are two cities that have their 3D databases created.

Tackling a major city may be more than your firm can handle, but the idea of a smart city makes sense at any population level. You can match your target market to the population that makes sense for your firm. Perhaps it is a corporate or university campus to get started.

Documenting the benefits is a challenge, but this is the direction that the management of geospatial information is heading. The uber vision is one of a unified, integrated geospatial data model that can scale from the earth to your desk. I hope this is the 3D experience that Dassault has in mind.


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Geomatics Faculty Positions Announced

usarmyWest Point Academy has announced a position in geomatics.  They are very interested in someone with lidar, photogrammetry, and/or GNSS expertise.

The University of Washington is looking to expand geomatics within their civil engineering department and announced a new position.

Good luck.



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Giving Thanks

thanksHere in the U.S. we are celebrating Thanksgiving this week. It’s a perfect time to be thankful for all we have and to reach out to someone less fortunate perhaps by volunteering or making a gift.

Enjoy and please remember to send us your image for the Winter Solstice Lidar as Art contest.

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Leica Introduces $16k Scanner

leica-blk360-702x336Leica Geosystems made a major announcement at Autodesk University this week. They introduced the entry level BLK360 imaging laser scanner. It’s small – 6.5″ high, just 4″ in diameter and weighs only 2.2 lbs.

It captures 360,000 points per second with a range of 60m at 4mm accuracy. It has built in cameras and an infrared sensor. A complete full-dome laser scan, 3D panoramic image capture and transfer to the iPad Pro takes only 3 minutes.

In addition to the hardware there is also perhaps even more exciting news on the software front. Leica has teamed with Autodesk to integrate and control the sensor with ReCap 360 through a mobile app. If you have a subscription to ReCap the BLK360 can be purchased for $15,990. Now we’re talking.

If anyone has seen the data please let us know.

This just may be the affordable, disruptive imaging scanner and design software integration that we have all been waiting for.

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OSU Faculty Position in Geomatics

The School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University invites applications for a full-time (1.00 FTE), 9-month, Tenure Track Assistant Professor position in Geomatics Engineering to begin in Fall 2017. Outstanding candidates may also be considered at the rank of Associate or Full Professor. Hire with tenure requires candidate’s dossier to be successfully reviewed by the Promotion and Tenure Committee and Office of Academic Affairs.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to teach and conduct research in the broad area of Geomatics Engineering. We are particularly interested in candidates with demonstrated expertise in advanced visualization science (e.g., visualization, geospatial analytics, geodetic positioning, boundary law, photogrammetry, Structure from Motion, InSAR, lidar, remote sensing, GNSS, and GIS) within Civil Engineering and Land Surveying Applications (e.g., property surveying, connected vehicles, smart cities, natural hazards engineering, infrastructure resilience, and asset management).

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