Friday, September 18, 2009

Pittsburgh Airport Data Collection



Just days before the G20 Summit, Baker gained access to Pittsburgh Airport for an hour and a half.  Using an escort vehicle, which maintained constant communication with Air Traffic Control, we surveyed two runways, several taxiways, approach lighting and the entire terminal.  Our collection was highly successful.  Due to the unobstructed sky, our GPS positioning yeilded constant accuracies of 8 - 12 mm for our trajectory utilizing a single base station.

To the left is an image showing intensity of runway 28L.  There are two interesting components of this image.  First, the bright dots to the left and right are field lights - their colored plastic lenses yeild higher intensity returns than their metal cases.  Secondly, the rubber laid down by landing aircraft is clearly visible due, once again, to the intesity difference to the surrounding asphalt and white, reflective striping.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Assignment - Bedford Springs



Shortly after the installation and initial testing, we presented the vehicle to Baker's management at their Fall Manager's Meeting.  Shown above is a colorized point cloud of data captured in under 20 minutes.  Colorizing a point cloud assigns a red, green, blue value for each measured point from the pictures taken with the onboard cameras.  The image shows a decimated point cloud - where only 50% of the points are rendered. 



During collection, we also captured portions of US 220.  The image above is not a black and white photograph.  It is an image comprised of millions of points rendered by the intensity of the returned light from the laser.  The red lines denote a cross-section and the graph shows the profile.  Note the superelevation of the roadway as the highway curves to the right.  Nothing special was done to derive these images.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Baker Mobile LiDAR - Day 1 System Install

We decided on a Chevy Suburban 2500 (3/4 ton - 4x4) for our first Mobile LiDAR vehicle. A support structure was built to raise the sensors an additional 1.5' for better line of sight. We had custom drawers fabricated for our GPS and survey equipment. And the electrical system of the vehicle was upgraded to provide consistent, reliable power to the system.

The installation took place at our Beaver, PA office on September 12th. We had 4 Baker staff assist with the install: Aaron Morris - Program Manager, Stephen Clancy - Vehicle Manager, Justin Thornton - Vehicle Operator and Mark Anderson - Processing Technician. The team made quick work of the installation and stocking of the vehicle with supplies. Following the installation, we performed calibration drives and began testing.

What is Mobile LiDAR?

Mobile LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems are comprised of vehicle-mounted lasers, cameras and GPS/INS navigation systems to capture highly-detailed and accurate three-dimensional (3D) topographic information for surveying and engineering applications. Michael Baker International became an early adopter of Mobile LiDAR technology by acquiring our first system in 2009, with further expansions in 2014 and 2015 that increased our fleet to four (4) Optech Lynx SG1 Mobile LiDAR systems. Over that period our systems have completed more than 300 projects throughout 29 different U.S. States (and multiple countries), and encompassing hundreds of thousands of miles. Our project portfolio includes applications in roadway design, 3D modeling, railroad corridors, signaled intersections, utility infrastructure, asset management, pavement condition assessment and airport infrastructure.