Scanning in America’s oldest show cave

Location

Virginia

Scan time

12 minutes

Size

500 meters

Scanned

Grand Caverns

Industry

Education

Discovered in 1804 by Bernard Weyer in the heart of Virginia, Grand Caverns (formerly Weyer’s Cave) is the oldest show cave in the USA. During the US civil war, the cave was used by both Confederate and Union soldiers as part of the Valley campaign, during which time over 230 soldiers signed their names on to the cave walls. More recently, the cave has become a huge tourist attraction, due to its beauty, location and being surrounded by scenic trails for hiking, running, and biking, but it has also captured the attention of the scientific community because of recent discoveries of new passages and the rock formation changes over time.

The town of Grottoes (where the show cave is located) partnered with Angel A. Garcia Jr. and his students from James Madison University to create a 3D map of the cave. The 3D point cloud is being used to measure Speleothems, monitor the human impact on the cave, create 3D printed models and to celebrate the show cave’s extensive history, shining a light on its geoheritage. In addition, it is a fantastic opportunity for the undergraduate students of JMU to get hands on experience with the handheld LiDAR scanner and the data it outputs.

Angel A. Garcia Jr. chose GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon scanner to take on the task of mapping both the parts of the cave open to the public and the recently discovered, vast passages. He and his students capitalise on the speed of capture and accuracy of the scanner to review and analyse data in a quick and efficient manner.

With the LiDAR we’ll be able to get into corners and see what hasn’t been looked at for a long time.

Having originally purchased the ZEB Horizon back in February 2021 to collaborate and share data with partners scanning caves using ZEB devices in Puerto Rico, Professor Garcia began to see the potential and opportunities the scanner offered. Fast, accurate and handheld data capture opens a way to map an area without the need to GPS or complicated setups. In addition, the scanners ease of use means that undergraduate students can be involved in the project with limited to no training.


Since beginning to use the ZEB Horizon, interest in Professor Garcia’s work with the SLAM scanner has escalated, and he has subsequently been invited to other universities to run workshops. In April 2021, he was approached by Grand Caverns to map the historic show cave.


The public area of the cave is approximately 500 meters in length, 30 meters high and has stairways in places, so it is quite a large area to capture. Professor Garcia and his students were able to capture the entire public area in approximately 12-15 minutes, by simply walking and scanning. He pointed out that a terrestrial laser scanner would be able to capture the public part of the cave, but it would take days, not minutes, and due to the uneven surfaces of the non-public area of the cave, it would be impossible to get a tripod-based system down there. Alternatively, you could measure a cave using a distometer, but this could take months, if not years to complete.

The ZEB Horizon was able to give them a quick accurate scan in 12 minutes, so the students could get to work reviewing the data for their various projects.

It’s going be able to detect the stalagmites, the stalactites and it’s even going to be able to detect the cave shield because it’s that precise.

The data is being processed using GeoSLAM Hub, and Draw is being utilised by the team to accurately measure the speleothems over time. The students can see the orientation, thickness and gather measurements using the LiDAR information alone. They are also hoping to use Draw to understand accurate dimensions of the cave. Furthermore, the 3D point cloud is being used as a base to 3D print the cave within a rectangular block, for further research purposes.


The team continued to scan the cave over the summer, and Professor Garcia is working with the caving/spelunking community of experts to begin capturing the more problematic and recently discovered new passages of the cave. These areas have not designed for the public at the moment, so there are uneven surfaces and narrow corridors, but due to the ZEB Horizons mobility, capturing previously unseen parts of cave will be quick and safe.


Professor Garcia concludes by saying that the 3D model will provide an opportunity for those who can’t physically enter the caverns, to learn what they are all about.

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    Scanning a Caribbean hospital with the ZEB Horizon to create a BIM model

    Location
    Location

    Otrobanda,
    Curaçao

    Scanned
    Scanned

    St. Elisabeth
    Hospital

    Size
    Size

    22,346
    Square Foot

    Scan time
    Scan time

    20 minutes
    per scan

    Industry
    Industry

    Surveying

    Constructed in 1855, with the help of the Franciscan sisters, the St. Elisabeth hospital has played an important role in the Otrobanda City district on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, for over 160 years. The large hospital served as the main hub for medical care, and was historically used as a place of healing for other island nations nearby.

    Having been deemed no longer fit for purpose according to international standards in 2011, it was decided that a new hospital would be constructed next to St Elisabeth’s, and in 2019 the Curaçao medical center was opened to the public. St. Elisabeth hospital was closed in November 2019, after 164 years of service to the island.

    In 2021, Ellen de Brabander, from Urban Studio, was appointed by the survey bureau ‘Landmark’ with the task of scanning the hospital, in anticipation of renovation projects. Ellen chose the ZEB Horizon for the task, and later created an accurate BIM model using the point cloud data. In addition, Ellen is working on creating a virtual tour of the hospital, so it can be entered and explored from anywhere in the world.

    Due to the large complex nature of the building, with several floors and many individual rooms, the task of capturing and measuring the hospital was an enormous one, in terms of time frame. Originally Ellen was going to scan the building using a total station, however because the hospital is broken into 6 sub-buildings, an average of 3 floors per sub-building and many individual rooms per floor, the total station was quickly ruled out. Furthermore, with difficult to access areas, the bulky nature of a tripod-based system would not be ideal for capturing the hospital in its entirety, or fast enough.

    After assessing the options, the team decided the best way to capture the building would be to use a mobile 3D scanner, due to the lightweight nature, speed of capture and ease of use. Ellen chose a ZEB Horizon for the job and was able to seamlessly walk through the hospital’s complex buildings, capturing data as she moved.

    The 3D scanner of GeoSLAM was able to reduce the time of the measurement and as a result the delivery time was met. The measurement time would normally take several months, which was reduced to days

    Having decided on the ZEB Horizon, she was able to capture both the interior and exterior of St Elisabeth’s hospital in just 6 full working days, which was an extremely short amount of time compared to traditional measuring equipment. 52 scans were conducted in total, at approximately 20 minutes per scan and the area covered (including exterior and interior) was 22,346 square meters. The complex nature of some of the spaces were captured effortlessly because of the manoeuvrability and compactness of the scanner.

    The scans were processed and merged using GeoSLAM Hub before they were converted in Autodesk Recap and taken into Autodesk Revit to be modelled. The model of the hospital was sent to the client and the process from capture to model was documented in a video, which can be seen here:

    3D BIM model of Caribbean hospital

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      Creating a digital twin of Cistercian Landscapes

      Industry

      Education

      Scan time

      3.5 hours

      Location

      Franconia, Germany

      Size

      3 hectares

      Scanned

      Cistercian Landscapes

      Background
      With the adoption of digital technologies such as laser scanning, photogrammetry and other digital tools becoming ever more prevalent in conservation and preservation; it is easy to see why, in 2017, the University of Bamberg launched a new master’s degree, ‘Digital Technologies in
      Heritage Conservation’. Spearheaded by Professor Mona Hess, the course covers the integration and adoption of digital technologies in heritage conservation and its further development, as well as raising the profile of this research topic. In addition to running the course, Professor Hess and her team often employ their skills and expertise in the field, creating 3D digital models for preservation purposes, to build knowledge
      of certain areas or to educate a wider audience about a new culture.

      The 3D recording is a methodological tool for the representation and interpretation of cultural heritage, landscape and architecture, to build knowledge, create meaning and make culture accessible to all.

      The Scan
      In 2020, Professor Hess was approached by ‘Cisterscapes | Cistercian Landcapes in Central Europe’ and was tasked with contributing to the digital recordings of 2 gardens. The scan would focus on the baroque agricultural buildings with designed gardens; Ebracher Hof in Mainstockheim and Ebracher Hof in Oberschwappach, both properties of the Ebrach Monastery.

      The aim of the scan was to create reliable information, assess the landscapes development status and design management plans for maintenance and conservation. Professor Hess, accompanied by PHD student Carla Ferreyra, visited the sites in October 2020 to conduct the scans. With approximately 3 hectares of land to cover, the team needed a SLAM scanning solution that was quick, easy to use, suitable for both indoor/outdoor use and a solution with reliable results. Professor Hess chose GeoSLAMs ZEB Horizon with the ZEB Pano, because of the rapid data acquisition throughout the site up to 100m.

      Other laser scanning techniques were considered in the planning process, however none quite provided the freedom the ZEB Horizon did, often
      with restrictions around mobility and time. In September 2020, a similar scan had taken place using a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) of a specific
      area of the Mainstockheim garden. In comparison, the GeoSLAM scanner reduced the time and labour costs when completing the scan. The team were able to complete their scan of Mainstockheim (including an interior space of the baroque building) in just under 3 hours.

      In Oberschwappach, the total scan time was approximately 30 minutes. Their only concern during the scan was encountering the general public, however due to the lightweight nature of the ZEB Horizon and Pano, it was easy to avoid busier parts of the garden. Where they did encounter other guests (due to their curiosity over the scanner) Professor Hess and Carla simply repeated the scan of that specific area. All in all, the scan was a success, and Professor Hess and Carla were able to deliver on their task.

      The Results
      With the completion of the scan, not only does Professor Hess have fresh scan data that can be used to educate the next generation on how
      digital technologies can be used in heritage conservation, but they are also being used to extract 2D information, such as orthophotos, plans
      and sections in 1:50 scale and BIM models. Furthermore, videos of the scan were created – these serve as informational and educational
      pieces of content. Finally, the scans serve to raise awareness of these historic gardens, promote a scientifically accurate recording and also makes the heritage accessible to all. Professor Hess is currently using the scanner and scans for research & teaching, and she has observed that a lot of her students are enthusiastic about the speed of the process.

      Looking Forward
      In 2021 Professor Hess is looking to extend the project further at Ebrach Abbey and the gardens, to contribute to the Cistercian Cultural Heritage
      project. Additionally, she is looking to create a digital twin model of a historic city using the ZEB Horizon, to research semantic 3D city models with
      information about urban heritage in the project ‘BIM to Twin’.

      Scanning on the Istrian Peninsula

      Location
      Location

      Rovinj,
      Croatia

      Scanned
      Scanned

      Campsite

      Size
      Size

      1100m x
      700m

      Scan time
      Scan time

      20 minutes
      per scan

      Industry
      Industry

      Surveying

      Whether you are cruising down the Adriatic coast, visiting the famous Game of Thrones filmsets in Dubrovnik or experiencing some of Croatia’s famous cities; with visitors to Croatia more than doubling since 2010, tourism has become an important part of the Croatian economy.

      In the North sits the Istrian peninsula, a place known for its beauty, history, amazing food, and a place tourists flock to year on year both domestically and internationally. A sharp increase in visitors has meant that tourism sector has needed to adapt to the exponential growth.

      The Maistra group is one of Croatia’s leading tourist companies. They manage 18 hotels, 11 tourist villages and 6 campsites in sought out destinations such as Rovinj, Vrsar, Zagreb and Dubrovnik. With so much property to manage, they need quick and efficient ways to keep their site documentation up to date. In early 2021 they approached GeoSLAMs Croatian dealer, Geo centar, requesting a scan of one of their campsites in Rovinj on the Istrian peninsula.

      ZEB Horizon | Scanning in Rovinj

      Due to the size of the site, 1100m x 700m, the team at Geo Centar opted to tackle the scan using GeoSLAMs ZEB Horizon, plus aerial photogrammetry. The aim of the survey was to create up to date campsite documentation in the form of 2D vector maps, high resolution 2D raster maps, georeferenced imagery, and a digital terrain model with contours. Due to the campsites age and need to modernisation, the documentation will serve as a reference for design purposes.


      Combining both high resolution orthophotos of the area with the point cloud from the ZEB Horizon, the team were able to capture data quickly, accurately and without disruption. By utilising the walk-and-scan method of capturing data, they were able to make light work of the task.

      Being able to walk and scan is a true blessing in such situations since any other scanning method is either much slower or much more expensive.

      10 scans were conducted in total, mainly focusing on buildings, terrain covered with vegetation and other objects that would be tough to capture with aerial photography. Each scan took approximately 20 minutes, so the team were able to cover the entire 1100m x 700m in just over 3 hours. Using the scans, the team were able to extract roads, sports fields, fences, stairs buildings and roads. Finally, the team took photos of important object using the ZEB-Cam.

      GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon’s long range, strong SLAM algorithms and ease of use make it the perfect tool for this job.

      Post Scan

      During the scan, the team used a survey grade GNSS receiver, to georeference the data. Utilising GeoSLAMs adjust to control feature, in GeoSLAM Hub, the team were able to accurately georeference the scans, enabling them to correct any trajectory drifts, that may have occurred during the scan, ensuring accurate and quality data was delivered to the client.

      In addition, the team were able to georeference the images taken with the ZEB-Cam, open them in GeoSLAM Draw, which was then used to export the web version (HTML) of the top view layout containing the location of the images. This HTML was easily shared with investors and engineers working on the same project, providing a visual impression.

      The pointcloud data was exported to 3rd party software, where the team were able to create the documentation and maps for their client.

      Results

      The team were successfully able to map the campsite and extract the data needed to create high quality survey maps, a digital terrain model and contours, which will now be used to modernise the campsite.

      Scanning a cavity with the ZEB Horizon

      Location
      Location

      Hattorf/Wintershall
      Facility, Germany

      Scanned
      Scanned

      Cavity

      Size
      Size

      70m Deep

      Scan time
      Scan time

      N/A

      Industry
      Industry

      Mining

      GeoSLAMs German dealer, Laserscanning Europe, were recently tasked with scanning a 70m deep cavity in a mine 500m below the earths surface. Using the ZEB Horizon on a cradle, Laserscanning Europe were able to successfully and safely capture the data, and this is their account of the job.

      Data captured by Laserscanning Europe

      Scanning with the ZEB Horizon | Words by Laserscanning Europe

      The object of measurement is located in the Hattorf/Wintershall mining facility of the company K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH. This is a cavity (underground, vertical conveyor system) about 500m below the earth’s surface with a depth of 70m.

      The cavity no longer has the original storage volume due to material deposits from years of operation. The environment is dusty and it is expected that material will be deposited within the conveyor system at any time. In addition, the cavity is not accessible to humans from any opening and access is only possible through 1m diameter openings.

      The objective was to obtain a three-dimensional survey of the conveyor system with highest possible resolution for inspection of the systems condition. Furthermore, strict compliance with all work safety regulations, with minimal risk for the measuring team, was required.

      For this job, a mobile laser scanner was used. Thanks to its specifications, the GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon is ideally suited for the special conditions underground. The scanner is also suitable for surveying a cavity that is only accessible from above through a narrow shaft.

      The scanner was mounted on a cradle, which was modified to minimise rotational movements when lowered. A 50m rope was attached to the cradle, which was used to lower the measurement system into the cavity.

      Furthermore, trained members of the mine rescue team were on site to provide security and enable the scanner to be lowered and retrieved safely.

      Measurement Procedure

      01

      Preparation of the survey: mounting of the scanner on the cradle and mounting of the rope system for lowering and raising the scanner

      02

      Starting the measurement at the upper end of the opening to the cavity

      03

      Lowering of the scanner, 50m deep, while the ZEB Horizon captures data

      04

      Raising the scanner, 50m high, while the ZEB Horizon captures data

      05

      Finishing the scanning process at the upper end of the opening to the cavity

      06

      Ascent from the mine and analysis of the scan data in the office

      Workflow of the analysis

      Following the survey, the scan data was processed using the GeoSLAM HUB software. The raw data, i.e. the processing of the point cloud from the data of the laser sensor and the IMU, is automated as much as possible. In the case that a scan was not automatically processed (e.g. because few geometric changes are found in the object space), the focus of the SLAM algorithm can be influenced by adjusting various parameters. Once the data has been run through GeoSLAM Hub, a complete point cloud of the cavity is available in .laz format. All other common point cloud formats can also be exported with little effort.

      Since the scanner could only be lowered linearly on the rope, the earth deposits shadow smaller areas inside the cavity.

      Results

      The result of this scanning is impressive. This cavity, which is not accessible to humans, was successfully surveyed with the help of the GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon. The point cloud documents the dimensions of the cavity according to the requirements. Further missions with the GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon with similar objectives are already being planned and implemented.

      ZIEN 24 scans 5000 properties in 5 months using GeoSLAM

      Industry

      Real Estate

      Time

      15 mins per
      scan

      Location

      Netherlands

      Size

      5000
      properties in
      5 months

      Scanned

      Residential and
      commercial
      properties

      The real estate market is fast-moving and highly competitive. Estate agents are reliant on customer relationships based on trust and reliability. They realise the importance of providing accurate measurements and specifications of the properties they are advertising as any miscalculations can not only invalidate a sale but can damage their reputation. This is particularly pertinent to the Netherlands in order to meet the BBMI standards guaranteeing the quality and accuracy of estate agents’ floorplans.

      Zien24, a Rotterdam-based media and marketing company, produces content and digital floorplans for estate agents covering all types and sizes of residential and commercial properties. As the company grew and acquired more clients, they found that the traditional terrestrial survey techniques were too slow and laborious to meet their needs. To secure scan data and photographic imagery there were multiple site visits, and large properties over 400m2 were difficult to measure. Also, data manually captured on a notepad meant there could be mistakes resulting in back and forth between the scanning technician and the production team.

      With ZEB Pano an average house of 200m2 is scanned in just 15 minutes, from walking in and walking out the door

      “We realised we needed a faster and more accurate surveying method to meet our clients’ requirements and GeoSLAM’s ZEB Pano was the obvious choice,” says Karl van Duffelen, Reality Capture Manager of Zien24. “We are the first real estate company to use mobile scanning in our region and it’s been a game-changer for us. The fleet of handheld scanners is very simple to use, which means we don’t have to spend a lot of time training staff. In one visit we can now capture both error-free scan data and high-res photos, and ensure we haven’t missed any spaces. So it saves us a huge amount of time and the homeowner doesn’t need to be home all day or have multiple visits.”

      real estate

      The lightweight, handheld ZEB Pano is not only easy to operate but is robust and reliable to scan even the most difficult to access places, quickly and accurately. Capable of capturing 43,000 data points per second and high-resolution panoramic imagery at the same time, the ZEB Pano stores the exact location of each panoramic image enabling quicker, more accurate, and less intrusive property surveys. 3D measurable information and imagery captured with the ZEB Pano uses the leading SLAM algorithm and enables the creation of both 2D and 3D floorplans.

      Thanks to GeoSLAM’s ZEB Pano fleet we have scanned over 5000 houses in just five months!

       “The ZEB Pano has revolutionised our workflow and allows us to produce floorplans faster than ever before – we can now create a digital floorplan of an average 200m2 house in 15 minutes,” Karl van Duffelen continues. “We’ve scanned over 5000 properties in just 5 months including hotels, offices, factories, warehouses and even castles. The ZEB Pano not only gives us confidence in the end product but gives our clients peace of mind knowing that our fully-automated measurements are highly accurate.”

       The ZEB Pano fleet has enabled Zien24 to cement their leading position in the Dutch real estate market, and expand into new markets as they offer scanning services to support BIM models.

      Zien24 take in delivery of their ZEB Pano systems

      Virtual Singapore – creating a dynamic 3D city model

      Industry

      AEC

      Time

      100 hours

      Location

      Singapore

      Size

      376 ground
      floor void
      decks

      Scanned

      Apartment
      blocks

      Singapore is home to some of the most profitable financial services, manufacturing and oil-refining corporations in the world. But with its accomplishments come some very specific challenges for a city-state which is limited by space but still demanding growth.

      Determined to future-proof Singapore’s success, the country has embarked on one of the most ambitious digital twinning projects the world has ever seen – creating a dynamic 3D city model and collaborative data platform, including 3D maps of the region.

      At the initial stage of the project it quickly became apparent that aerial imagery alone would not be able to capture ‘void decks’ – open spaces typically found on the ground floor of the city’s apartment blocks. These areas, which are sometimes underneath the tower block structure, are used for everything from games areas, bicycle parking, hosting wedding receptions and wakes, and, as estates grow, facilities such as shops, medical centres and even schools.

      In the face of fierce competition, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo was selected as the most innovative and efficient solution to collect data from these important community spaces.

      A huge time saving exercise which would ordinarily have taken 40 times longer using traditional surveying methods

      With a handheld “go-anywhere” ZEB Revo, field teams quickly captured a dense and accurate point cloud of an entire void deck, which was then used to model the deck geometry and incorporate this into the existing building models.

      376 buildings with void decks were scanned using the ZEB Revo, taking approximately 100 hours – an enormous time-saving exercise which would ordinarily have taken up to 40 times longer using traditional surveying methods.

      The ZEB Revo is often used alongside terrestrial hardware as the products are highly complementary. The data output can be easily combined through geo-referencing or scan-to-scan matching and then used to build complete 3D models. In this instance, the combination delivered highly detailed and rapid results while significantly minimising costs too.

      Beautiful laser show at the marina bay waterfront in singapore

      Virginia Tech uses handheld laserscanning for VR project

      Industry

      Education

      Time

      Three times
      faster than
      terrestrial
      sensors

      Location

      Vauquois,
      France

      Size

      Several
      kilometres

      Scanned

      Battlefield
      tunnels

      The Vauquois battlefield in France tells a little-known story of mining warfare during World War I. Through four years of combat which saw the hilltop village of Vauquois completely destroyed, French and German troops dug miles of tunnels under each other’s positions to plant explosive mines that would ‘bomb’ the enemy from below. More than 14,000 soldiers died there.

      Vauquois must be experienced firsthand to understand the difficulties – and despair – of living deep underground in wet, cold and cramped conditions for days at a time. Of course, not everyone can travel to France and crawl through the remaining tunnels in person. So, a group of researchers at Virginia Tech is bringing the battlefield to classrooms and museums with the help of reality capture and virtual reality (VR) technologies.

       “We built a large virtual environment that includes physical models of the [tunnels] so you can reach out and feel real things while wearing VR goggles. It’s all derived from laser scanning,” said Todd Ogle, Executive Director of Applied Research in Immersive Environments and Simulations at Virginia Tech.

      Combining efforts of the University Libraries, Dept. of Visual Arts and numerous other disciplines, the Visualizing History team first travelled to Vauquois in north-eastern France with funding from a federal grant in 2016. Over 10 days, they used a traditional stationary laser scanner to capture details of the pockmarked battlefield terrain.

      It was a game changer in terms of the speed of data acquisition

      Their progress slowed considerably, however, when they attempted to scan inside the tunnels, recalled Phat Nguyen, a Virginia Tech Visual Arts professor.  “There were tight spaces we couldn’t get our terrestrial scanner into…and it was time-consuming to repeatedly set up the device to scan small areas,” said Nguyen.

      Just days before the team’s next France trip, they acquired a GeoSLAM ZEB Horizon in the hope of making their time onsite more efficient. The small handheld device did not disappoint.

      With no formal training other than the operator’s manual, the team captured scan data inside the tunnels with the GeoSLAM unit more than three times faster than with the stationary scanner. And they used the ZEB Horizon above ground as well, scanning the narrow trenches, wide bomb craters, and a church foundation.

       “Speed is critical when you’re working on a strict budget.” said Nguyen.

      Not only was the data collection faster, Nguyen found the team could work more efficiently because the GeoSLAM software processed the scan data into a point cloud on their laptop in real time. They saw where data was missing so they could go back and collect it before leaving the site. This created a much more accurate and complete virtual environment.

      Back on the Virginia Tech campus, the team engaged the expertise of students and faculty from numerous departments – Visual Arts, History, Education, Computer Science, Mining Engineering, and Cinema – to build a life-size model of a tunnel and generate the virtual environment of the battlefield. This allows students wearing VR headsets to ‘walk’ through the scene, experiencing it with both sight and touch.

      The speed and accuracy of the ZEB Horizon are game changers for educational and historic preservation VR projects like this one because of time and budgetary issues. VR data processing is extremely time consuming, which means time saved scanning in the field make grant money go farther in the computer lab. The result is a more realistic and believable experience.

      The Virginia Tech Visualizing History team isn’t stopping with creating educational experiences from their 3D data collection. They are beginning to apply their VR capabilities to other commercial applications of mobile laser scanning.

      Smarter Spaces use GeoSLAM to scan hydroelectric dam

      Industry

      Asset
      Management

      Time

      1 hour
      scanning
      total

      Location

      New
      Brunswick,
      Canada

      Size

      3,000 ft

      Scanned

      Hydroelectric
      dam

      Canadian 3D geospatial experts Smarter Spaces engaged in a partnership with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to laser scan a tunnel in a hydroelectric dam – producing a point cloud model to be overlaid with photogrammetry.

      The Grand Falls Generating Station is a hydroelectric dam built in 1931 on the Saint John River in the Canadian province of New Brunswick and is operated by the NB Power corporation. The dam’s tunnel is shut down every 4 years for maintenance, inspection, and future life cycle planning.

      This presented Smarter Spaces with the opportunity to utilise the mobile, handheld GeoSLAM ZEB Revo to scan the tunnel – creating an accurate point cloud model. In four years’ time the process will be repeated – allowing for the first side-by-side comparisons of the tunnel’s performance to be made.

      In addition to this, NB Power has started exploring whether to build a 100-megawatt generating station in Grand Falls to produce more clean energy. The corporation is carrying out environmental and geotechnical studies, site tests, and consultations with First Nations and local residents before applying for an Environmental Impact Assessment later this year.

      It was a simple case of ‘walking and scanning’ through the tunnel environment

      The tunnel is approximately 3,000 linear feet in length and, because of its unique geometry, proposed an interesting set of challenges to scan. The tunnel environment was found to contain a lot of moisture – with a small stream running through the base. The IP67-rated ZEB Revo – which began life in mining environments – is rugged enough for such environments. The tunnel was dark, visibility was low, and walking conditions were slippery and wet. Smooth-sided surfaces also cause data collection issues for mobile scanners.

      Tunnels can often prove challenging environments for SLAM given they are low on features. The SLAM used by GeoSLAM performs even in this difficult condition.

      To overcome the risk of data slippage, 4 foot-high pylons were placed every 10 feet in random locations throughout the tunnel. This has the effect of ‘breaking up’ the monotony of the smooth-sided tunnel walls, ensuring that no data slippage occurs.

      The scan data was processed in GeoSLAM Hub software to filter, subsample and merge multiple data sets together. The final models and datasets were sent to the University of New Brunswick to support an engineering graduate with their thesis research.

      Surveying private property for as-built

      Industry

      Surveying

      Time

      2.5 hours

      Location

      California,
      USA

      Size

      20,000 sq/ft

      Scanned

      Private
      residence

      “We were tasked with surveying a vast private house in order to generate accurate as-built construction drawings for renovation. The unique challenge was that the 20,000 sq. ft Santa Barbara residence was occupied at the time, requiring the survey to be completed quickly and in an unobtrusive manner.

      PPM (Precision Property Measurements) chose the ZEB Revo over other terrestrial scanners for our residential projects because of the speed and volume of data acquisition at exactly the level of accuracy required by our clients.

      In order to keep disruption to residents to a minimum, we decided to tackle the task in two swift scans over two days. The first scan consisted of data collection of the extensive ground floor and communal areas, and took around 90 minutes to complete. The private, bedroom wing was off limits on this day.

      The second scan incorporated these sleeping quarters, as well as gathering plenty of overlap from the lower floors to enable the 2 scans to be merged. After just 140 minutes of scanning, the entire house had been surveyed.

      We’ve always been confident in our ability to keep our projects to the nearest inch or less. In bringing the ZEB REVO into our arsenal of tools, we’ve kept the accuracy we’ve always had, but introduced an efficiency that allows our experts to get out there and do more for our clients

      A typical residential property of this size would have usually taken around 4 days on-site for one surveyor. PPM were able to slash this time and complete the majority of the survey work in less than 2 and a half hours with the ZEB Revo.

      The use of GeoSLAM Hub software for post-processing and merging of the two datasets allowed the project team to generate a complete digital twin of the complex structure. GeoSLAM’s cutting edge mobile mapping technology was able to deliver an accuracy down to the nearest inch.

      Handheld mapping reduces skyscraper scan time by 30 hours

      Industry

      Architecture

      Time

      10 hours

      Location

      Belo Horizonte,
      Brazil

      Size

      8,357 sq/m

      Scanned

      Skyscraper

      “In the city of Belo Horizonte, there is a distinct mix of contemporary, classic and historic buildings on display, making it a really attractive destination to visit. What comes with the architecture on offer however, is the need to preserve it for tourists and future generations to enjoy.

      Often the fragility of buildings or lack of resources means that many buildings go untouched for decades, leaving them to crumble. It’s my job to ensure these relics remain.

      When the chance to retrofit electrical installations and a fire prevention plan to a 130-metre art deco skyscraper, the Acaiaca Building, became available, the team at Paragram knew we had to be involved.

      We were very impressed with the quality of information captured by the ZEB Revo.

      Built in the 1940s and once used as a nightclub, cinema, shops and air-raid shelter, the building required some attention in order for it to meet safety standards. Having initially planned to measure the 8,357 square metre building using manual survey methods, estimates told us this would have taken three employees over 40 hours to complete an as-built structure.

      Working alongside contractors at Criar Projetos E Consultoria, Paragram decided to use GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo, known for its ability to quickly generate images to within a few centimetres of accuracy. With the handheld device, the job was expected to take around 10 hours in total, reducing the workload dramatically.

      Acaiaca Building

      With just two operatives and in under 10 hours, we managed to complete a scan of the building’s interior, with one walking through the building holding the device and another taking a photographic record. This innovative way of working meant we were able to gather much more information than first anticipated, including the registration of beams and roof trusses, electrical installations and engine room areas.

      The ZEB Revo is a real game changer for the architecture industry.

      As a team, we were very impressed with the quality of information captured by the ZEB Revo, which was easily incorporated into a BIM representation using Revit software.

      Almost every renovation project is governed by strict time constraints, but with GeoSLAM’s device and its ability to rapidly scan large areas, it is a real game changer to our industry. With products like this at our disposal, I am excited about what the future will hold for heritage buildings in need of a little TLC.

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      Oxford Archaeology scan three historic sites in under 48 hours

      Industry

      Conservation

      Time

      48 hours

      Location

      Various,
      Israel

      Size

      Three sites
      across Israel

      Scanned

      Historic Sites

      “48 hours to scan three historic sites in Israel – ambitious or impossible? Equipped with a handheld 3D mapping device from GeoSLAM, we were determined to find out. Our first stop was the Schneller building in Jerusalem. In its 160 year history it has been used as an orphanage, barracks and ammunition arsenal. A few years ago, an archaeological team unearthed the remains of a Roman bath house and winery underneath the site. The next stage of the building’s history is a conversion into a museum of Judaism – hence the requirement for a complete, high-accuracy survey of the site.

      Made up of four floors, 130 rooms, an outer courtyard and a number of stables, we needed to work quickly to scan the entire site. Using the handheld ‘go-anywhere’ ZEB Revo, in three – 30 minute scans he captured the entire building, including survey control points to georeference the data. Using traditional scanners, this would have taken several weeks and involved multiple set-ups.

      With the ZEB Revo, what use to take weeks can now be done in hours

      Next stop was an elegant and beautiful 12th century Benedictine monastery. With no more than 30 minutes between the end of the Vespers – the evening service – and the time when the public would be allowed into the monastery, we carried out a quick reconnaissance and accurately captured the unique domed building, only possible using GeoSLAM’s ’go-anywhere’ device.

      Panorama of Jerusalem Old City with Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Israel

      Final port of call was a delapidated 19th-century merchant house in the ancient Arab town of Jaffa. The challenge here was to record the building while construction works were in progress, with hoardings and scaffolding obscuring structures. A near impossible task, but the ZEB Revo was still able to collect survey-grade data in a matter of hours, which formed the basis of a working record of elevations, sections and plans.

      In under 48 hours Jamie had captured highly accurate 3D images of 3 heritage buildings. Proof indeed that with the ZEB Revo, what used to take weeks can now be done in hours.

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