Leveraging sensor technology for modern design projects

Scanning for the future of infrastructure 

Transportation of people and freight continues to expand at a rapid pace, overhauling the current infrastructure system. Airports are adding enormous terminals to accommodate the increase in travel and freight shipping. Ports are exploring how to manage the increase in size to handle massive cargo and cruise ships. Multimodal facilities are being constructed to integrate rail, air, and ground transportation at a single location for seamless passenger connectivity.

Modernization of infrastructure relies on a digital movement to create an “intelligent” environment for enhancing passenger mobility. Before construction can begin, engineering teams must rely on highly accurate spatial and topographic information to properly design these improvements to fit within existing space. This creates a challenge to generate spatial data at an incredible level of detail while also maintaining positional accuracy. 

GPI Geospatial, Inc. (GPI) embraces these challenges by deploying a multitude of RIEGL laser scanners on a variety of collection platforms for the development of digital 3D files. Each design project is initiated with a meeting with the architectural and engineering teams to identify specific areas of interest, design challenges, priority elements, and categorization of complex features of the project. GPI’s geospatial project teams use this information to develop a customized work plan outlining complex acquisition procedures and data integration techniques for a seamless deliverable.

Often, a single project, such as an airport expansion project may encompass the use of aerial, mobile, and static LIDAR sensors. An aerial LIDAR sensor is a key tool for the detection and mapping of obstruction and meets FAA Advisory Circular criteria. GPI uses mobile LIDAR for capturing dense point data for runway and taxiway resurfacing as well as concrete rehabilitation projects, including concrete joint mapping and pavement analysis.

GPI leverages control point proximity and common LIDAR tie planes to move the data collection indoors without losing geospatial positioning. Static scanning is used to traverse through the terminal areas, gates, baggage facilities, and security checkpoints as these passenger areas are getting overhauled. The capture speed and small size of the VZ-400i static scanner enables fluid movement throughout passenger facilities as well as interior rooms and utility corridors. The static scanning captures high-resolution point data on the building’s architectural and structural elements, including interior and exterior walls, windows, stairs, escalators and elevator features, columns, slabs, beams, furniture, HVAC, water, sewer, communication, lighting, power, and other visible features. The point cloud is then used to generate a Building Information Model (BIM) that can be deployed in the planning, design, construction, and future operation of the airports.

Using a single manufacturer, such as RIEGL, for all our LIDAR sensors provides streamlined workflows when integrating multiple capture platforms on a single airport project. It eliminates the need to mix and match processing software and the quality of the overall point cloud is remarkable. Integrating stringent data capture techniques with the state-of-the-art LIDAR sensors ensures that the airside and landside spatial data work cohesively together. 

Navigating confined spaces of an airport
The resiliency of the RIEGL sensors provides versatility in developing customized mounting platforms that allow GPI to safely capture data in hard to access areas. The flexibility is endless, and sensors are often partnered with rail, helicopter, UAV, boats, aircraft, and other vehicles. GPI’s proximity to RIEGL’s Orlando office is a fantastic opportunity for research and development engagement to help strategize on new market initiatives and application development for potential future projects. 

The ability to leverage traditional survey concepts and survey and geospatial projects, ranging from capitalize on the speed and accuracy of RIEGL’s LIDAR sensors have proven to be a recipe for success in the transportation industry. This growth has necessitated the purchase of additional aerial, mobile, and static-based sensors. As the world continues to modernize its infrastructure, we embrace the digital movement and collection of intelligent survey data.

Written by Matthew LaLuzerne, PSM, MBA, Vice President of GPI Geospatial, Inc. 

Website GPI

Website RIEGL

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