Automated Laser Scanning for Geotechnical Monitoring

  1. This is one of the first near-real-time use of laser scanning.
  2. The project that needed monitoring is a tunnel under an interstate highway.
  3. Two Leica Geosystems scanners were installed and are now feeding data back to the office – impressive.

In my previous life I was trained as a geotechnical engineer, in fact a marine geotechnical engineer, which makes me even more angry about the current mess in the Gulf. No excuse for that disaster, except the usual – greed.

Enough of that. The engineers believe this is one of the first near-real-time geotechnical monitoring applications for laser scanning. It involves a tunnel under an Interstate highway in Seattle where there is concern for settlement.

The consultant Geo-Instruments installed 2 Leica Geosystems scanners outside the construction area. Twice per day, a custom computer program directs the scanners to automatically scan infrastructure elements potentially impacted by the construction under and adjacent to I-5 to within 2 millimeters along owner-defined scan lines of 1 inch x 1 inch. Each 360-degree scan covers a swath of 4 feet x 4 feet at a distance of 380 feet. The total data load is greater than 1 gigabyte per day.

This is certainly quite a test of the technology.

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