Monday, October 8, 2012

Law #7: Applied Control

In an article last year, I wrote extensively about Law #7: The data you capture is only as good as the applied control.  And earlier this year, I addressed the topic again with a posting titled:  Control Plan - Art or Necessity?  The survey methodologies employed for establishing, locating and quantifying ground control are all important factors to successfully perform a Mobile LiDAR collection; however, as equally important, are the controls (techniques, processes, QA routines, etc.) applied by the collection staff, processing team and project manager throughout the project lifecycle. Today’s discussion focuses on the controls applied by our collection staff; while future posts will address processing and project management.

Since day 1, Baker has been developing our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).  These procedures are not chiseled in granite like The Baker's Dozen, but rather are constantly evolving with new techniques, software, hardware and client requirements.  We have modified the documents countless times to implement changes, educate operators and ensure consistency.  Our SOP's include, but are not limited to:

  • Collection Planning - from GPS to driving routes
  • System Startup and Shutdown
  • Field Notes
  • Data Extraction
  • Preliminary Processing
  • QA/QC
  • Data Transmittal
The above SOP's are but a handful of the controls we apply on a daily basis to ensure overall project success.  Well-constructed SOP’s provide the framework for consistent results; and ultimately result in quality products and a satisfied client.



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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.