Thursday, April 19, 2012

Control Plan – Art or Necessity?

We like to think that the proper implementation of ground control, especially when you consider all factors (including cost), is more of an art than just a necessity.  Sure, anyone that has a basic understanding of the technology and general requirements could develop a control plan, but it’s likely to be either over-engineered (resulting in significantly higher cost), or insufficient to meet the true project requirements; higher costs and possibly additional field visits.  A quality control plan should create efficiencies across the board. 

Detailed Mission Planning efforts are a key component to the success of any field survey.  Mission Planning efforts for Mobile LiDAR surveys also include a concerted focus on required ground control.  Project requirements ultimately drive the implementation of control, but there are a myriad of factors and options that must also be closely considered. 

Control layout for a 4-lane divided highway.  Additional control is placed as the bridge to account for GPS outage.

The design and layout of a proper control plan needs to address: client requirements or standards, driving speeds, site access restrictions/limitations, sensor orientation, staff safety, localized obstructions (traffic, vegetation, elevated or sunken roadways, etc), style/type of target, terrain, control point spacing, and processing software limitations among others.  A control plan specialist is an integral part of the project team.  Their decisions and interpretation of local conditions could dictate the overall success or failure of the mission.  


The control layout for a city-wide Mobile LiDAR collection.  

A control plan specialist is an integral part of the project team.  Their decisions and interpretation of local conditions could dictate the overall success or failure of the mission.

Cheers!
Stephen

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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.