Lidar Surveys Guide Avalanche Predictions

image of Lidar Surveys Inform Avalanche Prediction

Lidar Surveys Inform Avalanche Prediction

In a low-flying helicopter, Gabriel Wolken is scanning the steep hillsides around southeast Alaska with a purpose. A research-grade laser mounted to the helicopter sends rapid pulses of light from the aircraft to the ground to measure the elevation of trees and the bare earth below. Like a price scanner registering elevation instead of barcodes, lidar surveys help to compile a detailed map of the features of the landscape—information that will be needed to determine snow depth from the air come winter.

From an article in Scientific American by Molly Tankersley.

Understanding snow patterns is a crucial part of Wolken’s work with the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center, the State of Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Sciences and local partners to model avalanches past and future at sites around Alaska. Nowhere is this work more important than in the capital city of Juneau, which has the highest urban avalanche potential of any city in the country. Throughout southeast Alaska, steep topography and heavy winter snowfall can combine to create dangerous avalanche conditions. In Juneau, the risk of avalanches extends to residential neighborhoods, a harbor and major roadway, and the powerlines that connect to Juneau’s main hydroelectric power plant. Continue reading

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Alluxa Makes Thin-Film Interference Filters for Lidar

Alluxa is a world leader in high-performance optical filters and thin-film coatings. In this highly informative white paper Alluxa explains how their high-performance, ultra-narrowband interference filters improve LIDAR signal-to-noise ratios.

Graph of Alluxa Lidar Filter

Alluxa Lidar Filter

Arguably the most versatile active remote sensing technique, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is used across platforms and across disciplines. Long known to be one of the most important technologies in Earth and atmospheric sciences, LIDAR is now being utilized for obstacle avoidance in autonomous vehicles, urban planning, security, infrastructure development, and many other applications. This surge of novel uses recently forced an influx of technological advancements and a renewed interest in LIDAR sensors that is driving down the cost and making the technology more accessible.

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Museum of the Future Relies on Laser Scanning

Photo of Museum of the Future

Museum of the Future

In Dubai, where tower blocks seem to pop up almost overnight, residents have grown adept at averting their eyes from building sites. But one construction project has caught everyone’s attention: the Museum of the Future, which has loomed up over the city’s elevated, driverless metro system on the edge of the financial district.

This building could not have been built without 3D BIM and laser scanning. Incredible.

From an article in the BBC Future by Elizabeth Bains

The museum’s framework, comprising 2,400 diagonally intersecting steel members, was completed in November 2018; the facade panels now are being lifted into place. The museum is due to open in a year – a momentous time for Dubai as it will be hosting the World Expo from 20 October 2020. Continue reading

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The U.S. Survey Foot Has Outlived Its Usefulness – RIP

photo of surveyors The U.S. Survey Foot is Retired

The U.S. Survey Foot is Retired

Thanks to Michael Dennis and others at NIST and NGS for taking the action to deprecate (in metrology – a decision to discontinue the use of a specific measurement unit) the U.S. Survey foot. There is no benefit to having two definitions for the foot here in the U.S. and there are lots of liabilities. Is that Michael from a previous life in the photo? I wonder if he was behind this idea all along.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

Notice; request for comment.

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Dynamic Map Service Available from USGS

The USGS 3DEP program offers a powerful dynamic map service capability to

Elevation aspect map rendered in the Dynamic Map Service

Elevation aspect map rendered in the 3DEP Demonstration Elevation Viewer.

make it much simpler to investigate the range of products that can be generated on demand from the digital elevation data. The dynamic map service can generate multi-resolution visualizations on-the-fly. Some, like the map on the right of the Finger Lakes area of New York are works of art.

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Precision Agriculture Informed with Drone Lidar

Image of Precision Agriculture Applied to Corn Maze

Precision Agriculture Applied to Corn Maze

The RedTail LiDAR Systems’ RTL-400, designed specifically for use on small drones, is a cost-effective tool that provides high-resolution, accurately geolocated images needed to make informed business decisions. Precision agriculture is one area where it is well suited.

As the RedTail LiDAR Systems team prepared to launch the RTL-400, they looked for unique opportunities to demonstrate the product’s capabilities across a broad range of industries. Precision agriculture was identified as an important application. The worldwide need for food requires ever-increasing levels of production, while simultaneously meeting that demand in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability. In recent years, the agriculture industry has increasingly adopted drone-based LiDAR technology to support precision agriculture methods, allowing them to make more informed crop and livestock management decisions; one example is the selective application of fertilizers to achieve even yield throughout a field. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Agriculture, airborne LiDAR, Business Development, Data, Drones, Environmental, Forestry, Lidar, Mapping, point clouds, remote sensing, UAS, UAVs, Visualization, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Forest Health to be Monitored with Lidar

logo for Forest Health Project Funding

Forest Health Project Funding

October 24, 2019 – North Fork, California – In August Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council was awarded $4.1 million in forest health funding for the Madera Projects – Southern Sierra All Lands Recovery and Restoration Project (Madera SSARR Project), to address fuel reduction, reforestation and LIDAR acquisition and planning.

From a press release in Sierra Sun Times.

Fuel reduction treatments will take place on public lands (in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Bass Lake Ranger District) in the Shuteye Restoration area, which includes the French Fire burn area, Whiskey Ridge and the Kinsman Flat area in Eastern Madera County and covers approximately 800 acres. About 35,000 bone dry tons of woody biomass spanning an area of 300 acres will be removed from the Whiskey Ridge area. The North Fork power plant will utilize the resulting biomass for power generation when it comes online.

Reforestation will take place in the French Fire burn area with 1,250 acres planned for tree planting. An estimated 337,500 mixed conifer seedlings, including Jeffery, ponderosa, and sugar pines and incense cedar, will be planted. The first trees will be planted in the spring of 2020.

The LIDAR acquisition portion of this project will encompass over 1 million acres in Mariposa, Madera and Fresno counties. LIDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, will be used on aerial flights by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to collect data on the forest landscape. The data will then be analyzed and mapped by the University of Washington, Forest Resilience Lab, to plan for forest health and resilience and carbon sequestration.

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USGIF Offers First Geospatial Intelligence Certification

Logo of USGIF Offers GEOINT Certification

USGIF Offers GEOINT Certification

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is pleased to announce the addition of an entry-level geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) certification to its suite of professional designations. “The Essentials” exam is intended for recent graduates and young professionals in the GEOINT field to demonstrate their knowledge across the foundational competencies outlined in USGIF’s GEOINT Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK).

USGIF piloted The Essentials exam in partnership with 10 of its accredited college and university programs. Of the 90 students who participated in the pilot exam, 57 passed, yielding a promising success rate of 63%. Continue reading

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Ancient City Revealed by Lidar in Cambodian Jungle

Map of Lidar Used to Understand Design of Ancient City

Lidar Used to Understand Design of Ancient City

Stone inscriptions tell tales of an ancient city called Mahendraparvata. The once-mighty metropolis was one of the first capitals of the Khmer empire, which ruled in Southeast Asia between the ninth and 15th centuries. It was long believed that the ancient city was hidden beneath thick vegetation on a Cambodian mountain, not far from the temple of Angkor Wat.

From an article in Live Science by Yasemin Saplakoglu.

Now, thanks to an incredibly detailed map, researchers can “definitively” say that the ruins, overgrown by thick vegetation on the mountain of Phnom Kulen, are in fact from that 1,000-year-old city. The ancient city was never really lost, as Cambodians have been making religious pilgrimages to the site for hundreds of years.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, Agriculture, airborne LiDAR, archaeology, cultural heritage, Environmental, Forestry, Historic Preservation, Lidar, Mapping, Photogrammetry, point clouds, remote sensing, Research, Visualization | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Network Based Drone Remote Identification

Photo of Drones Network Based Remote Identification

Network Based Remote Identification

Verizon and Skyward, A Verizon company, along with a working group of other drone companies, successfully demonstrated network based remote identification of drones with the InterUSS Platform. This demonstration included seven drones flying use cases including infrastructure inspection, delivery, and recreational flights. The drones flew in close proximity while safely following ASTM remote ID protocols, the leading industry standard.

In the demonstration, Skyward simulated a beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) infrastructure inspection flight with the drone flown directly over Verizon 4G LTE for the duration of the flight. Connecting drones to the wireless network facilitates the sharing of information critical to the safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System, especially for the complex operations of the near future, which will demand safe, autonomous, BVLOS flights. Continue reading

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