Downtown Mobility Studied with Lidar Sensors

Point Cloud image of Downtown Mobility Studied with Lidar in BC

Downtown Mobility Studied with Lidar in BC

The City of Kelowna, British Colombia, Canada says it will embark on a pilot project next week that will study the flow of traffic and pedestrians in the downtown core. On Thursday, the city announced that it will soon be installing two light (LiDAR) sensors along Bernard Avenueto study downtown mobility, with more sensors to be installed at three other intersections at a later date.

From an article in Global News by Doyle Potenteau.

The project, according to the city, will study how people move downtown and how to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Kelowna to build on the work we’re doing to bring smart city technologies to our city,” Kelowna mayor Colin Basran said in a press release.

The mayor added that as the city grows, “we need to better understand what these travel interactions look like and how can we ensure the safe management of everyone using our streets, curbsides, sidewalks and pathways.” Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Data, Government, Infrastructure, intelligent cities, Internet of Things, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Research, Safety, Sensors, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Avalanche Photodiode is High Power, but Eye Safe

Image of Automotive Lidar Avalanche Photodiode Breaks Lidar Performance Levels

Avalanche Photodiode Breaks Lidar Performance Levels

Electrical and computer engineers at the University of Virginia and University of Texas-Austin have developed an avalanche photodiode that achieved record performance and has the potential to transform next generation night-vision imaging and Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) receivers. For lidar, the team’s low-noise, two-micrometer avalanche photodiode enables higher-power operation that is eye-safe.

From an article in Novus Light Technologies

The peer reviewed paper, “Low-noise high-temperature AlInAsSb/GaSb avalanche photodiodes for 2-μm applications,” was published May 18, 2020, in Nature Photonics, a monthly journal of the best research from all areas of light generation, manipulation and detection.

This breakthrough comes from a long-standing collaboration between Joe C. Campbell, Lucien Carr III Professor of electrical and computer engineering at UVA, and Seth R. Bank, Cullen Trust Professor at UT-Austin. Andrew H. Jones, a 2020 Ph.D. graduate advised by Campbell, and Stephen D. March, a Ph.D. student in Bank’s research group, contributed to the research. The team’s work was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Army Research Office. Continue reading

Posted in Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, driverless vehicles, Hardware, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Research, Robots, solid state, solid state lidar, Technology, The Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Empire State Building Renovation Complexity Solved with 3D

photo of Empire State Building Renovation Supported with 3D

Empire State Building Renovation Supported with 3D

Extreme heights, exacting materials and harsh winter weather were just a few of the challenges facing Skanska USA’s recent renovation of the observation deck of the Empire State Building, one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

From an article in Construction Dive by Jenn Goodman.

Adding to the constraints, the renovation of the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building in New York City had to be completed while a visitor terrace below was open to the public.

The culmination of a four-year reimagining of the building’s visitor experience, the $165 million observation deck project involved replacing the old windows — which only reached waist height — with 360-degree floor-to-ceiling glazing offering unobstructed, panoramic views of the city. In addition, developer Empire State Realty Trust required that an 86th floor visitor terrace remained open to the public throughout the construction.

“It was paramount to the client that their guest experience not be interrupted and that our work remained as ‘invisible’ as possible to those visiting the observatory,” said Kevin Brightly, project manager, Skanska USA Building. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, BIM, Business Development, Civil Engineering, Construction, Indoor Mapping, Infrastructure, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Safety, Surveying Engineering | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Analyzing a Train Wreck with Lidar and UAV Data

photo of Analyzing the Scene with Lidar and UAV

Analyzing the Scene with Lidar and UAV

It was early morning on Dec. 18, 2017, and an Amtrak passenger train was making its inaugural run between Tacoma and Portland, Oregon. As it neared a curve leading to an Interstate-5 overpass near DuPont, the train was traveling at 78 mph––50 mph over the speed limit––and the lead locomotive, along with 11 of its 14 rail cars, derailed. Analyzing the scene would have to wait as saving lives was the first priority at this accident scene.

It was 7:33 a.m. and I-5 was already teeming with commuters. The lead locomotive and three rail cars landed on I-5, causing a 14-vehicle pile-up. Three of the 77 passengers onboard the train were killed and 62 passengers and 6 crew members were injured. The initial damage was estimated to be $40 million.

From an article in Directions by Mary Jo Wagner.

Within minutes the scene was swarming with hundreds of troopers, detectives, firefighters and paramedics, all of whom had one thing on their mind: rescue.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, Data, Drones, Forensics, Government, Infrastructure, Inspection, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Safety, Surveying | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Removing Noise from Return Laser Scanning Pulse

graphics for removing noise

By removing noise, even with a mesh screen covering an object, (left), researchers at Stevens quantum 3D imaging technique generates images 40,000x clearer (center) than current technologies (right).

Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) have created a 3D imaging system that uses quantum properties of light called parametric modes to create images about 40,000 times crisper, by removing noise, than current technologies, paving the way for greatly improved lidar sensing and detection in self-driving cars, satellite mapping systems, deep-space communications, and medical imaging of the human retina.

From an article in Laser Focus World by John Wallace.

The work, led by Yu-Ping Huang, director of the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering at Stevens, addresses a decades old problem with lidar. While photodetectors used in these systems are sensitive enough to create detailed images from just a few photons, it has been tough to differentiate reflected laser light from brighter background light such as sunlight. Continue reading

Posted in Business Development, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Research, Sensors, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Scanning the Super Galaxy at Travis Air Force Base

Photo pf Scanning the Super Galaxy

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ian Freeby, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, uses a C-5M Super Galaxy emergency escape slide Sept. 6, 2019, at Travis Air Force Base, California. The C-5M is fitted with five emergency escape slides to provide rapid egress from the aircraft during a ground emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

Scanning the Super Galaxy – the largest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force, inside and out is no small feat.

From an article in the Daily Republic by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman.

A team from Sketchbox Inc., an augmented and virtual reality prototyping company based in San Francisco, took six hours Sept. 6 to obtain multiple 3D scans of the C-5M Super Galaxy at Travis Air Force Base. The data will be used to create virtual reality scenarios to enhance training for mobility airmen.

“We scanned the entire C-5 using a laser scanner,” said Joe Connolly, Sketchbox Inc head of product. “We will take the scanned data, which is a collection of points in 3D called a point cloud, and merge it with other high-resolution images we collected. After the merge, the point cloud data combined with the image data, will enable us to create a 3D model of the C-5 that can be rendered in virtual reality.” Scanning the Super Galaxy was an honor.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Augmented reality, Laser Scanning, military, point clouds, Safety, Software, virtual reality, Visualization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Training Data for AVs is Key to Success

High-quality data is the fuel that powers AI algorithms. Without a continual flow of labeled training data, bottlenecks can occur and the algorithm will slowly get worse and add risk to the system.

image of Training Data is in Critical to Machine Learning

Training Data is in Critical to Machine Learning

From an article in Tech Crunch by Kirsten Korosec.

It’s why labeled data is so critical for companies like Zoox, Cruise and Waymo, which use it to train machine learning models to develop and deploy autonomous vehicles. That need is what led to the creation of Scale AI, a startup that uses software and people to process and label image, lidar and map data for companies building machine learning algorithms. Companies working on autonomous vehicle technology make up a large swath of Scale’s customer base, although its platform is also used by Airbnb, Pinterest and OpenAI, among others.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, or even halted, that flow of data as AV companies suspended testing on public roads — the means of collecting billions of images. Scale is hoping to turn the tap back on, and for free. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, computer vision, Consumer, Covid-19, Data, Deep Learning, driverless vehicles, Government, Hardware, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, point clouds, Quality, Research, Safety, Sensors, Software, Technology, The Industry, training, Visualization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3D Scanning a Roller Coaster

Roller coaster installation and maintenance is serious business. Borrowing from The Perfectionists tolerances are tight especially when you take into account the speed of travel and the forces involved.

For the past 35 years, Dr. Masoud Sanayei, a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University, has conducted research on structural health monitoring of bridges and other structures. By using instruments such as strain gauges, accelerometers, tiltmeters, thermocouples, optical sensors, and various data acquisition systems, he is able to collect, measure, and process information that enables him to comprehensively evaluate the condition of these structures.

In order to perform his finite element analysis on the roller coaster Dr. Sanayei needed a detailed 3D model of the structure. Since the CAD model did not exist East Coast Metrology was called in to perform a detailed as-found survey of the structure. All of the components from the foundation up were documented. In addition a FARO Edge Portable CMM Arm was used to more accurately capture high stress areas.

A complete 3D solid model was created including the point clouds and images. The preliminary analysis indicates that the stresses are far below those that would indicate any kind of problem.

For additional information click here.


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Measuring Snow Depth in Colorado with Lidar

map of Measuring Snow Depth in Colorado

Measuring Snow Depth in Colorado

Research Associate Blake Osborn with the Colorado Water Center/CSU Extension Service explained the various methods used for measuring snow depth in Colorado and how they function at the annual Agriculture Conference at Ski-Hi in Monte Vista Feb. 4.

From an article in Center Post Dispatch by Teressa L. Benns.

Osborn was introduced by Extension Agent and Director Marvin Reynolds. He began by noting that currently the state is doing experimental work in the Rio Grande Watershed and the San Juans. Snow comes through the Valley when the jet stream pulls moisture in from the Pacific Ocean, bringing cool temperatures with slow release.

The mountains are just “a big water reservoir” he said. Federal agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA), the National Conservation Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) measure snow primarily from December through the following March. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Agriculture, airborne LiDAR, atmospheric, Data, Environmental, Lidar, Mapping, point clouds, remote sensing, Research, topography, Weather, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entertainment Scanning Firm Joins Leading Game Platform

Video of Entertainment Firm Joins Forces with Game Platform

Entertainment Firm Joins Forces with Game Platform

Thanks to my daughter for the heads up on this story. I am always amazed when I come across a 3D entertainment company like Quixel, a ten year old firm based in Sweden and Pakistan that has been scanning the world, unknown to our Built Environment lidar community. Be sure to watch the end of the video to see the power of these graphics engines.

This is from a blog post by a co-founder of entertainment company Quixel, Teddy Bergsman.

“I have some exciting news to share with you today.

First of all, I’m proud to say that we are joining forces with Epic Games, for what is the next step in democratizing transformative technology and content.

For the past decade, we have traveled to every corner of the world to build Megascans, and we have created tools that help artists focus on creativity. Our mission is to scan the world and to build an ecosystem that unlocks triple-A level artistry for everyone. As part of Epic, we will not only greatly accelerate this mission, but also give back to you, our community, in ways we simply couldn’t have done on our own. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, art, artificial intelligence, Business Development, Consumer, Data, Entertainment, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Software, The Industry, Visualization, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment