Historic England map out damaged Ramsgate tunnels for redevelopment

Location

Ramsgate,
UK

Scan time

10 mins per
scan

Size

1km in
length

Scanned

Underground
tunnel

Industry

Conservation

There is no doubt that historical projects hold great significance for a location’s cultural heritage and its people. This is the fundamental concept that Historic England apply in their protection and conservation of sites that define English history and the nation itself. They work within communities and alongside specialists to share their knowledge and skills so that everyone can enjoy and maintain the history that surrounds us.

This is evident in Historic England’s Ramsgate Tunnels project, a five-kilometre network of underground passageways which were paramount to the war effort and the safety of local people of Ramsgate, Kent.

Ramsgate Tunnels were once used as an underground narrow-gauge railway, built to connect the town and docks to help improve trade links to Europe. However, the railway soon became a target for enemy bombing. To combat this, it was decided that the network of tunnels should be adapted to protect the people of Ramsgate, and work on this began in 1939.

“GeoSLAM technology was at the top of our list to scan the underground network, primarily due to its long range capabilities”

After falling into disrepair, leaving behind a long-existing collapse in one area of the tunnels, our team at Historic England was invited to work alongside Ramsgate’s Heritage Action Zone in order to redevelop the area’s much-loved historical sites. Enlisting the help of GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon to provide a preliminary map of the damage, plans were put in place to assess tunnels that were previously inaccessible in order to extend visitor access.

Mapping damaged underground passageways
Ramsgate tunnel

The ZEB Horizon allowed our team to reach further down each channel where we needed a quick overview of the extent of the damage, and its approximate location relative to the surface. A total of nine scans comprised the complete survey, taking around 10 minutes for each scan. Compared to a static scanner, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon improved the speed of the scanning process dramatically

Industry

Mining

Scan time

10-15 minutes

Location

Perth,
Australia

“Beck Engineering is an Australian mining engineering consultancy specialising in mining and rock mechanics analysis. Creating highly-accurate underground maps for the mining and natural resource sector is one of the most demanding forms of surveying. Most mine environments are hazardous, and we need to work in tight, enclosed spaces, which are uneven and difficult to access. GPS coverage is, of course, non-existent.

We map mines under intense time constraints using versatile technology which must be adaptable to this tough environment. For this purpose, the we have chosen GeoSLAM’s handheld mobile mapping devices that are compact, portable and deliver a high level of accuracy. With GeoSLAM’s ’go-anywhere’ 3D technology, Beck Engineering has immediate access to invaluable data regarding underground conditions. This time-sensitive information means we can accurately measure the shape of an excavation or tunnel over time.

Underground mine passage with rails and light

As a result, tunnels can be faster and better constructed, while being safer and considerably more cost efficient. The applications of the spatially continuous monitoring data collected by GeoSLAM’s devices are being applied to a wide range of geomechanical applications, providing their clients with a previously unattainable insight into rock mass behaviour.

We have continued to use GeoSLAM products as they have proven to be affordable, lightweight and sufficiently robust devices for their application underground. GeoSLAM continue to produce a high-quality device that is at the forefront of practical mobile laser scanning devices.

Mapping Trees on the Move

Industry

Conservation

Scan time

10-15 minutes

Location

Canberra,
Australia

Size

180 square
metre plot

Scanned

National Park

Placed first in Australia and 20th in the world, Australian National University (ANU) is a research institution with its main campus in Canberra, the country’s capital. The university’s research priorities typically reflect the challenges facing the world today. One such project is to track tree growth and development over time in a joint effort between ANU and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Known as the ‘Precision Measurement of Trees and Forests’ project, the field team is charged with comparing and contrasting different ways of collecting data, using different terrestrial and airborne laser scanners, and working with digital imagery. The survey takes places in the National Arboretum in Canberra which features some 44,000 rare, endangered and symbolic trees and is made up of 94 mini forests.


Image footer: The National Arboretum covers 250 hectares of land within striking distance of Canberra CBD (Image courtesy of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects).

GeoSLAM’s “go-anywhere” mapping technology was a natural choice for the outdoor project. Unlike terrestrial systems, the splash-proof, dust-tight, mobile laser scanners are designed to operate in the most difficult-to-access spaces, inside or outside, in daylight and darkness – without the need for GPS. What’s more, you can easily attach the portable laser scanners to a drone or helicopter for fast outdoor surveying.

In addition to GeoSLAM’s versatile handheld technology, the team also uses fixed point scanning and traditional forestry measures – such as Suunto and digital photographs from UAV’s. Tom Jovanovic, former CSIRO researcher and now Interactive Technology Specialist at the University of Newcastle, Australia, explains that the technologies are complementary, “Using GeoSLAM from the outset, as well as a different system, has enabled us to compare and contrast different measurements and combine them into a heavily monitored site finding. This includes the high level of resolution being sought.”

Emphasising that the project is specifically designed to take advantage of both static and mobile approaches, Tom Jovanovic says, “What’s nice about scanning with GeoSLAM’s technology is that it doesn’t involve repeatedly setting up in different locations within the research plot. You just initiate the start-up procedure then walk around the plot covering the trees from different angles.”

All forestry professionals like Tom need access to user-friendly technology that is easy to operate but is robust and reliable enough to do the job quickly and accurately. With GeoSLAM scanning technology, he says it takes only 10 to 15 minutes to completely cover a 180 square meter plot, adding, “What I really like about this product is that wherever you can walk, you can scan. It really is a case of ‘go-anywhere’. The scanner has made a significant contribution to an important undertaking. Mobile scanning that gives us dynamic changes over time – from any angle and in 3D – is a very important contributor to this work.”

These GeoSLAM-delivered findings are vital to the project’s long-term aim. Combining them with knowledge of water usage and photo synthesis, plus meteorological data and high resolution photography, they feed into very fine scale modelling that will guide forestry research management and habitat protection policies into the future.