High Powered Laser Scanner Can See Around Corners

Through the use of a high powered, non-line-of-sight laser researchers at Stanford University are demonstrating the ability to see around corners. I wonder what the safety issues are with this new laser camera.

From an article in Physics.org by Taylor Kubota.

David Lindell, a graduate student in electrical engineering at Stanford University, donned a high visibility tracksuit and got to work, stretching, pacing and hopping across an empty room. Through a camera aimed away from Lindell—at what appeared to be a blank wall—his colleagues could watch his every move.

That’s because, hidden to the naked eye, he was being scanned by a high powered laser and the single particles of light he reflected onto the walls around him were captured and reconstructed by the camera’s advanced sensors and processing algorithm.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Construction, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

USF is Preserving Cape Canaveral Launch Complexes in 3D

Image of Rocket Launch USF is Preserving Cape Canaveral
USF is Preserving Cape Canaveral

As the world celebrated 50 years since man first walked on the moon it seemed like a perfect time to highlight how USF is preserving the rapidly decaying launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, FL.

From the USF website.

Our team from the Digital Heritage and Humanities Collections at the University of South Florida (USF) Libraries, is working in collaboration with the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station 45th Space Wing, cultural resources division. We are using the latest in 3D laser scanning and imaging to assist with conservation, management, and public interpretive development of Cape Canaveral’s rich space history.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, art, cultural heritage, Government, Historic Preservation, Indoor Mapping, Laser Scanning, Mapping, point clouds, Research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FAA Part 107 Waiver for Flights Over People Granted

Image of construction sight FAA Part 107 Waiver for Flights Over People
FAA Part 107 Waiver for Flights Over People

Hensel Phelps has been issued a Certificate of Waiver from FAA Part 107 for flights over people by using drones with parachutes.

From an article in Commercial UAV News.

Whilee Part 107 has enabled organizations to create and scale drone programs in powerful ways, the limitations around flights over people and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations have nonetheless limited how many of those same companies can apply the technology. In the construction industry, drones have given contractors unprecedented situational awareness of their job site and created immeasurable differences when it comes to safety, but the constraints of Part 107 have prevented many from unlocking the true power of the technology. One company has proven that they can sufficiently meet and exceed industry standards though, and that has allowed them to move beyond these regulatory limitations.

Recently, the FAA issued Hensel Phelps a Certificate of Waiver, allowing certified operators to safely fly parachute-equipped drones over people, including populated construction sites. These parachutes provided by ParaZero have allowed Hensel Phelps to deploy drone technology across their job sites while knowing they aren’t breaking any rules or regulations. Their approach will set a precedent for other organizations interested in pursuing similar operations, and the way in which they gained that approval is essential to understand.

Continue reading

Posted in airborne LiDAR, Business Development, BVLOS, Certifications, Government, Hardware, Inspection, Lidar, Mapping, Photogrammetry, Standards, The Industry, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Geomatics Professional versus Licensed Land Surveyor

Point Cloud prepared by Geomatics Professional
Geomatics Professional

The term “surveyor” has tremendous historical significance dating back to the Egyptian “rope stretchers,” but I think the time has come for the idea of the geomatics professional to emerge.

The digital transformation began in the 1950’s for the surveying profession with the invention of the electronic distance meter and the computer. The development of GPS (GNSS) has completely changed the world and lidar is poised to have a similar impact in the form of autonomous vehicles and robots of every shape and description.

In addition to autonomous mobility, the rise of the use of artificial intelligence, AR/VR, laser scanning, drones, the time – dependent modernization of the North American datums, the Internet of Things, smart cities – the list is a long one, all require a knowledge of accurately determining location, in many cases, 3D geodetic location that has nothing to do with 2D boundary law.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, Deep Learning, Digital Transformation, driverless vehicles, Education, geodetic, Geomatics, GIS, GNSS, Government, GPS, intelligent cities, Internet of Things, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Robots, Sensors, smart cities, Surveying, Surveying Engineering, Technology, UAS, UAVs, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , | Leave a comment

TRB AFB80 Summer Meeting 2019 – Some Highlights

photo of TRB AFB80 Summer Meeting Tour of Daytona International
TRB AFB80 Summer Meeting Tour of Daytona International Speedway

This past weekend’s heat wave in New Hampshire prepped me for the weather in Daytona, Fl at the TRB AFB80 summer meeting, but it was still HOT.

Although I was not able to attend the morning presentations on Tuesday, the reviews were strong for the presentation by Lewis Graham from GeoCue on the use of UAV lidar. Curtis Clabaugh, now retired from the Wyoming DOT, presented on legal issues affecting drone users.

Today Michael Dennis opens the morning with a presentation on the changes that are going to occur in 2022 to the state plane coordinate systems as a result of the modernization of the datums that the NGS is working on. There will be two related presentations, one on GPS on Bench Marks and the other on monitoring of CORS/RTN stations.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, Construction, Data, Digital Transformation, driverless vehicles, Education, geodetic, Geomatics, GIS, GNSS, Government, GPS, Ground penetrating radar, Infrastructure, Inspection, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, Photogrammetry, point clouds, Research, Sensors, Software, Standards, Surveying, Surveying Engineering, Technology, topography, UAS, UAVs, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can’t Imagine What Jonah Lehrer Was Thinking

Cover of Imagine Can't Imagine What Jonah Lehrer Was Thinking
Can’t Imagine What Jonah Lehrer Was Thinking

I can’t imagine what Jonah Lehrer was thinking when he decided to ruin his career as a journalist and author, by making up quotes for his best seller Imagine.

First of all apologies to all the readers of the original blog over this past weekend, who like me were duped into believing that Jonah Lehrer was telling us the truth. The really sad part, now that it has come to light that Lehrer falsified information in the book, is not knowing what parts are fact and what parts are fiction.

From Michael Moynihan, the person who exposed Lehrer, we know that quotes from Bob Dylan about magically creating songs from his cabin in Woodstock were a lie. Moynihan was a Dylan groupie and he just did not buy the story Lehrer was pitching. That is what lead to him being exposed.

Continue reading

Posted in Consumer, Education, The Industry, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Imagine – Important Book on Creative Problem Solving

Cover of Imagine by Jonah Lehrer
Imagine by Jonah Lehrer

I am in the process of re-reading one of the most inspiring and therefore important (especially for the YGPs) books that I have ever read. The book is Imagine by Jonah Lehrer. The main theme is creativity and how it can be applied to solving problems, in some cases very difficult problems that have gone unsolved by some of the smartest scientists in the world, but more on that in a minute.

Imagine focuses a lot on the brain and in particular on the fact that the brain has two hemispheres – the left and the right. The left is responsible for analytic problem solving and the right handles creativity.

Here’s just one example of the inspiration that Lehrer provides. When you are trying to solve a problem and find yourself stumped, that is exactly what you want to happen. Why, because until your left brain gets stumped the right brain will not assume control  and start supplying the creative solutions needed to solve the problem. Who knew getting stumped was a good thing?

In perhaps the most impressive example of this phenomena Alpheus Bingham, a vice president at Eli Lilly, one of the largest drug companies in the world made a high risk decision in the late 1990’s concerning a number of difficult problems that had gone unsolved for years. One day Bingham announced he was going public via a website with the problems and to make it attractive for people he was offering to pay a substantial fee for the solution to the problems that have gone unsolved by his scientists for years.

Continue reading

Posted in art, Education, Research, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Elon Musk Claims the Teslas Will Become Urban Robo-Cars

Image of Elon Musk Claims Teslas Will Become Robo-Cars
Elon Musk Claims Teslas Will Become Robo-Cars

Elon Musk is promising to provide a software update to all Tesla’s with a “full self-driving” suite for urban environs, he claims. The systems will still require full driver attention. Looks like he is going to play the safety statistics game which just might work. Stay tuned.

From an article in the Boston Globe.

Tesla is racing to be first to the market with a self-driving car made for the masses, promising to send as soon as this year an over-the-air software update that will turn hundreds of thousands of its vehicles into robo-cars. But its push to put untested and unregulated features in the hands of its drivers is putting industry executives and regulators on edge.

Once the update arrives, Tesla vehicles will be able to drive themselves in a city the way they can perform highway cruising now, the company said. That means interpreting stop signs and traffic lights, making sharp turns, and navigating stop-and-go urban traffic and other obstacles — a far more difficult task than navigating long, relatively straight stretches of highways.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, Cloud, computer vision, Consumer, driverless vehicles, Government, Lidar, Research, Robots, Sensors, Software, The Industry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Silicon Photonics Lidar Sensor Can Balance on a Pin

Image of Silicon Photonics Lidar Sensor.
Silicon Photonics Lidar Sensor.

Voyant Photonics claims they have a lidar sensor, based on the use of silicon photonics that is so small it can balance on the head of a pin. Now this is where things start to get interesting.

From  an article in Tech Crunch by Devin Coldeway.

Lidar is a critical method by which robots and autonomous vehicles sense the world around them, but the lasers and sensors generally take up a considerable amount of space. Not so with Voyant Photonics, which has created a lidar system that you really could conceivably balance on the head of a pin.

Before getting into the science, it’s worth noting why this is important. Lidar is most often used as a way for a car to sense things at a medium distance — far away, radar can outperform it, and up close, ultrasonics and other methods are more compact. But from a few feet to a couple hundred feed out, lidar is very useful.

Continue reading

Posted in Business Development, Hardware, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Research, Robots, Sensors, solid state, solid state lidar | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Laser Scanning the Blue Mountains Rail Corridor

Image of Mobile Laser Scanning the Blue Mountain Rail Corridor

Mobile Laser Scanning the Blue Mountain Rail Corridor

One of our valued RIEGL mobile laser scanning customers, Michael Finlay who is a Geospatial Engineer with Jacobs, recently shared an amazing railroad video that he worked on with his team.

This project took the RIEGL VMX-450 mobile system scanning through the Blue Mountains rail corridor. The length of the project extended from Springwood to Lithgow to scan some of the most challenging conditions for an MLS system, happening even between the regular train services!

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Business Development, Environmental, Full waveform, GNSS, GPS, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Mobile LiDAR, point clouds, Software, Surveying, Surveying Engineering | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment