Monday, November 14, 2011

Data Fusion: Mobile and Aerial LiDAR

Over the weekend, Baker's latest article on LiDAR News was published.  The topic is "Data Fusion" - Mobile and Aerial LiDAR as well as traditional surveying.  In an earlier posting on the blog, I wrote about Knowing your Limitations - whether they're environmental, scale or technological.  Often, one tool or technology does not completely solve a problem.  By fusing data from multiple sources, we're able to complete the picture. 

Below are the images from the article in more detail:

The image above presents the fusion of Aerial LiDAR (red) and Mobile LiDAR (white). The tops of structures, including poles and push braces, are completely saturated with LiDAR points while the rail corridor (immediately adjacent to the buildings) contains dense information.

The image above depicts the fusion of Mobile LiDAR and Traditional Surveying (Aerial LiDAR points removed for clarity). The LiDAR data was supplemented outside of the Mobile LiDAR corridor to locate utilities, property boundaries and other features not captured by Aerial means within the larger corridor.

As the closing states, the information represented in surveying/engineering drawings can be captured in a number of ways.  Having an array of tools at your disposal can dramatically impact how you approach an assignment.  The integration of outputs from various technologies can provide a different perspective.


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.