This is a guest post from the TREKK Design Group Remote Sensing Team with an overview of their 3D data capture systems.
If the survey profession has learned anything in the evolving adaption of LiDAR for the civil transportation world, it is that our toolbox is only as good as the user. It is not enough to own the equipment, hoping it will meet all your needs, solve all your problems, and magically provide the end deliverable. Good technology users modify, adapt, combine and improve processes as they discover solutions to meet their clients’ needs without being defined by one technology solution. TREKK’s remote sensing team has years of experience and proven knowledge of each technology’s capabilities.
Our team combines a multitude of systems and platforms that work in conjunction to acquire required data and fulfill each project scope. Each technology platform excels in specific areas of data collection, whether as a standalone or combined, serving as a resource for information and quality control. Our proven workflow merges LiDAR data sets from multiple data acquisition platforms to create deliverables while providing QA/QC throughout.
TREKK’s mobile remote sensing team uses Terrestrial Mobile LiDAR Surveying (TMLS) for civil transportation data acquisition, mostly within the right-of-way. The TMLS can be mounted on a highway vehicle, an off-road all-terrain vehicle, hy-rail, or even a backpack to walk areas not accessible by vehicle. The system is equipped with GNSS, IMU, and a one million points-per-second scanner. Data from this platform includes rich point cloud classified by ground, low, medium, and high vegetation and georeferenced 360-degree, high-resolution imagery, which can be viewed in our web browser page as a street view or directly within the point cloud. Typical accuracy to survey control targets range from 0.015’ to 0.025’.
Aerial Photogrammetry (AP) uses unmanned UAV (drone) helicopters to collect aerial photography within and outside the right-of-way. The ability to fly preset routes provides complete project coverage and correct image overlaps. AP results include ½” grid colorized 3D points, digital stereo pair images, and digital ortho imagery to use during data extraction. Typical accuracy of 3D colorized points to survey control targets range from 0.015’ to 0.035’.
Aerial LiDAR (AL) features an unmanned helicopter drone platform equipped with a LiDAR system. AL is used in areas of more dense vegetation and large, open areas. This technology acquires LiDAR data at 200,000 points per second with a much wider swath than the AP system. Accuracy reports typical RMS error to survey control targets in the range of 0.05’ to 0.15’.
Recently, TREKK’s remote sensing team has expanded to support plant facilities using Static LiDAR in the underground built world of sewers, electrical vaults and tunnels using Simultaneous Location And Mapping (SLAM) technology requiring no GPS. Underground Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can also be combined with TMLS for a complete location of utilities above and below ground.
As part of the Owner’s Representative team for the Buck O’Neil Broadway Bridge Design-Build project in Kansas City, TREKK is applying several of these complementing technologies in preparation of the design-build replacement of this 60-year-old arch bridge. We are creating a complete CAD deliverable of topographic features, including a digital terrain model, underground utilities and right-of-way boundaries. The TREKK Design Group is providing traditional, mobile LiDAR, backpack and SLAM handheld LiDAR and aerial photogrammetry to survey 3.8 miles of Highway 169, I-35 and I-70, including associated ramps, frontage roads and city streets. We deployed our LiDAR SLAM system to acquire survey for obscured areas, such as under bridges and in nearby tunnels.
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Cyn René Whitfield is a nationally published journalist who has been involved in marketing for land surveying and 3D/4D laser scanning documentation for the past 35 years. She is currently the Senior Marketing Specialist for TREKK Design Group.
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