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How Barberton Mines are using handheld LiDAR to improve efficiency and promote safety

Location

Mpumalanga, South Africa

Scan time

Approx. 10-15 minutes per scan

Size

Size differ per solution

Scanned

Barberton Mines

Industry

Mining

Mining in South Africa

The mining industry in South Africa contributes R350 billion to the economy annually, with an estimated R35 trillion of resources left to mine. Mining companies in Africa and across the globe are continually reviewing their ways of working and best practices for mining safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Research and development play a big role in these changes, with early adopters of new technologies benefitting the most. 

Barberton Mines has been operational for 130 years and is located in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Consisting of several mines, including Fairview, Sheba, and New Consort, they produce ± 80,000 oz of gold annually. In recent years, Barberton has evaluated new technologies to make its mining processes fast, safe, and cost-effective.

One of the ways in which Barberton Mines investigated new technologies, was by finding ways to improve their survey workflows. They adopted static-based LiDAR solutions to produce accurate 3D models and became one of the first users of handheld SLAM solutions in 2014. 

Why did they choose handheld SLAM?

While static-based scanners are highly accurate, the survey team at Barberton Mines needed a quick and versatile solution for the variety of mining methods employed on the different mines and ore-bodies. The goal was simple; to accurately and safely capture data daily for ongoing analysis of the mining production. In addition, they needed a solution that could easily handle the rugged terrain and environment that mines are so often known for.

Barberton Mines chose to reassess their underground mapping technology to improve the speed and accuracy of their survey operations and increase productivity in the mines. 

How GeoSLAM fits in at Barberton Mines

Barberton Mines was the first mine in Sub-Saharan Africa to use GeoSLAM technology when they purchased a ZEB1 in 2014. The results and continued success on the mine prompted them to invest in 4 ZEB Revo’s in 2019, which are still in use today.

The ZEB Revo is lightweight and accurate, making it the perfect tool for surveying. The survey team can complete scans of the mines in half the time, and the process is repeatable. These capabilities have contributed to Barberton Mines streamlining their workflows, long-term cost savings, and greater returns on investment. 

The scanner’s ease-of-use only requires one person on-site to capture data. Furthermore, it doesn’t require professional training to use the equipment so operators can capture data in parts of the mine that surveyors cannot access for safety reasons. This casts a virtual eye on areas of the mine previously unseen by the surveyors and creates an opportunity to review old tunnels.

Finally, the lack of extensive training required to learn how to operate the scanner benefits new employees and the mine in general. It takes less than an hour to learn how to use the equipment and to process the final point cloud data, allowing surveyors to spend more time assessing final deliverables and finding ways to improve efficiencies in the mining process.

GeoSLAMs scanners have exceeded our expectations and have helped to achieve our goals where other mapping methods could not.”
– Thys Smith, Chief Surveyor at Barberton Mines

Solutions

Having originally invested in handheld scanners for underground mapping, Barberton Mines have since adopted the technology for other applications, further increasing their return on investment. The scanners are now operating across three key aspects of Barberton’s mining process.

Production Progress Mapping

The original and most common use for scanning is Production Progress Mapping. Barberton completes daily scans of the mines, bringing the data back for regular analysis of production progress mapping. 

The scanned areas are approximately 300 m3 and using GeoSLAM technology, they can scan large areas in about 10-15 minutes. In addition, because the scanners are handheld, production at the mine isn’t compromised by having to stop miners from doing their jobs while scanning is in process. 

Using the ZEBs, surveyors no longer need to be underground for extended periods, unlike previous methods. They begin their scans in a safe area, proceed to the mining faces, and finish back in the safe area while capturing the data needed – a completely repeatable and efficient process.

Stockpile Measurements

Barberton Mines has 5-6 stockpiles that make up 4000 cubic tons of material. They frequently measure the volume of these stockpiles, to ensure they have accurate and up-to-date information on their resources. 

Simply walking around the stockpiles with a scanner and importing the data into 3rd party software, provides the survey team with all the information they need to produce required reports. 

Health and Safety

One example of where scanning has improved health and safety is the mapping of transport shafts. To comply with safety regulations, surveyors frequently scan the shafts to look for rock movement or deformation that might require further investigation. 

They found that scanning tunnels from the chairlift with a handheld scanner was quicker than previously used conventional methods, like Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) or by hand. Handheld scanners only require the operator to ride the chairlift down- and back up again, without interfering with production.

The scanners are frequently used in these applications and their robust nature means they have never needed repair or maintenance.

Conclusion

Fast, efficient, and accurate data capture from GeoSLAMs handheld LiDAR scanners have proven to be a huge benefit for Barberton Mines. The repeatability of the scans has provided a great return on investment and the durability has meant that despite being used in challenging environments, the scanners have endured. The increased speed of data capture has led to safer work practices for the surveyors, and the walk-and-scan method has resulted in no disruption to the daily work of the mines.

With the scanner’s versatility, the survey team is still finding new applications where the technology can be utilised in the mining environment.

It is paramount for us to understand our client’s needs, especially in the ever-changing environment of mining. GeoSLAM provided the ultimate mapping solution that best addressed those needs, resulting in improved accuracy and overall productivity.”
– Gustav Fick, SME – Subject Matter Expert UAV & 3D Scanning at OPTRON




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    ZIEN24 use GeoSLAM scanners to create measurement reports for the Real Estate Market

    Location

    Netherlands

    Scan time

    Approx. 15 minutes per scan

    Size

    Varies per scan

    Scanned

    Residential & commercial properties

    Industry

    Real Estate

    Real Estate in the Netherlands

    Real Estate is a fast-moving and highly competitive market. Companies are reliant on good customer relationships based on trust. They realise the importance of providing accurate measurements and specifications of the properties they are advertising. Buildings incorrectly measured could be under or overvalued, which could result in complaints, invalidate a sale, or damage their reputation.

    This is particularly pertinent in the Netherlands, as they have placed a high level of importance on delivering accurate floorplans when advertising a property. In fact, a new regulation was introduced in 2010 after properties in Amsterdam were sold at a higher cost, after being overvalued due to incorrect floorplan measurements. The regulation, BBMI, requires businesses advertising properties to provide accurate floorplans or face potentially heavy fines.

    This required businesses to think differently about how they could quickly and accurately assess the properties they were advertising.

    How ZIEN24 create Measurement Reports for Real Estate

    Rotterdam based media and marketing company, ZIEN24, realised they needed to modernise how they measure properties in light of the regulations. ZIEN24 produces content and digital floorplans for estate agents, covering all types of residential and commercial properties.

    The company began measuring properties using laser rangefinders, which were not only time-consuming but also not cost-effective. The company received complaints when properties were not measured within the limits of the regulation, and the team had to occasionally return to properties to re-measure them. In addition, ZIEN24 was sending both photographers and surveyors to properties, which was not cost-effective or ideal for their clients.

    Having worked with point clouds previously, ZIEN24s co-owner, Boy Van Houten, thought that they could be the solution for accuracy. However, they needed a setup that was quick and effective, so static-based systems were not an option. After researching different scanner options, they decided to try GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT with the ZEB Pano accessory.

    Why ZIEN24 chose to work with the ZEB Revo RT

    The ZEB Revo RT is highly accurate, fast, and easy to use. As it requires minimal training, ZIEN24 taught their photographers to scan properties when they’re on location taking marketing photos. This negated the need for a surveyor, saving ZIEN24 money which could be passed on to their clients. The scanners accuracy largely removes the risk of human error, and ZIEN24 have not received any complaints since starting to use GeoSLAM scanners back in 2019.

    The addition of the ZEB Pano allows them to take informative 360 degree panoramic photography, at a much quicker pace, during a scan. The ZEB Pano stores the exact location of each panoramic image within the scan, enabling more accurate and less intrusive property surveys. This is vital for ZIEN24, as the popularity of virtual house tours increases within the real estate industry.

    The GeoSLAM scanner 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.

    How the ZEB Revo RT has helped ZIEN24 with their Real Estate services

    As the scanner captures in real-time, the photographers can easily ensure that they are capturing every room, as they walk around. Furthermore, the speed of capture, 200m2 in 15 minutes, means that more properties can be assigned to photographers per day. The data is then processed in their offices in China, and accurate floorplan reports are typically turned around within 24 hours.


    The ZEB Revo RT has also helped them to expand into other markets, and they now offer scanning services to support BIM models.




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      Surveying Avalanches in the French Alps

      Location

      Savoie Region, France

      Scan time

      2 hours

      Size

      3000 sq/m

      Scanned

      Avalanches and Snowpacks

      Industry

      Education

      Assessing Levels of Energy Radiation through Differing Conditions

      Climate Change is often attributed to greenhouse gases, however, there are also other factors that affect the Earth’s climate. One example of this is the ‘Earth’s radiation budget’. Earth’s radiation budget is energy that enters the earth’s atmosphere that is reflected, absorbed, or emitted by our planet. If the budget becomes out of balance, it can cause temperature increases or decreases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

      A team from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), a world-renowned geosciences organisation, have conducted research in this field. Their research focuses on how differences in surface roughness effect the amount of microwave radiation picked up by satellites.

      Comparing Surface Roughness of Snowpacks and Avalanches in the Vanoise Massif Mountain Range

      For their research, the team have been concentrating on snowpacks and avalanches in the Vanoise Massif Mountain range. They aim to compare the two satellite observations to assess the effect of the change in roughness when avalanches form using radiative transfer modeling. This is the process that measures radiation from the Sun into and out of the Earth. High levels of sun radiation can cause snow to melt which, in turn, can cause avalanches.

      The Vanoise Massif Mountain range is in the Granian Alps, in the Savoie region of France. It is the third highest massif in France, sitting at 3,885 meters at the summit Grande Casse. The range is the location of France’s first National Park, the Vanoise National Park.

      The Mountain Range’s Dangerous and Difficult to Access Environments

      To collect data from the snowpacks and avalanches, the team needed an accurate 3D model of the area. Vanoise National Park is a no-fly zone which meant that UAVs were not an option. Additionally, the team did not want to spend extended periods of time on the mountain due to the risk of avalanches. This ruled out more time-consuming methods of scanning, like terrestrial laser scanners.

      As a result, the team needed a more efficient way of mapping the difficult area. They decided SLAM was their best option and chose to use GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon with the backpack solution.

      We were looking for a portable, versatile and affordable LiDAR scanner solution and GeoSLAM allows us to meet all our constraints.

      Using ZEB Horizon to Safely Map Avalanches in the Vanoise Massif Mountain Range

      The walk and scan method and versatility of the ZEB Horizon stood out to the team from IPGP.  The specificity of the environment meant they needed to use technology that was easily movable and durable. In addition, the backpack solution was essential because it meant that the person carrying out the scan had their hands free to help them navigate the rough terrain.

      Furthermore, the ZEB Horizon’s speed of capture meant the team were able to scan the 3000 sq/m area in approximately 2 hours. This ensured that they did not spend too long in the hazardous mountain range, whilst capturing the accurate data they needed.

      Creating Accurate Data to be used in IPGP’s Research

      The scan was processed using GeoSLAM’s software package. The resulting point cloud is being integrated in IPGP’s research analysis and modelling.

      The ZEB Horizon’s ease of use and accuracy means the scan data can be compared with the data collected from the satellite observations. This is known as ground truth analysis and helps with clarity within the research. The scan data also aids with data calibration which allows for atmospheric effects and obstructions to be considered when analysing the final data.

      The positive outcome of the data has encouraged the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris to plan additional surveys in this area.

      Monitoring environmental changes are just one of the ways GeoSLAM customers are using their mobile mapping devices, alongside more common everyday uses like measuring buildings or construction sites.

      Thanks to the team at Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris for sharing their story with us.




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        How LiDAR Can Help Detect Change at a Community Micro Hydro Power Generation Site

        Location

        Congleton, UK

        Scan time

        25 Minutes

        Size

        100m x 100m Area

        Scanned

        Micro Hydro System

        Industry

        Surveying

        Discussions around climate change, and how we can lessen our environmental impact, have become increasingly more relevant in recent years. This has driven some companies and communities to explore different ways of producing renewable technologies, to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. One method for gathering renewable energy is by using Micro Hydro power generation.

        Hydroelectric power generation relies on a constant water cycle. Nature is perpetually replenishing this, making it a good clean source of energy. This method of producing electricity using hydroelectric power generation is what the Congleton Hydro Project has set out to achieve.

        Dane Valley Community Energy Ltd (DVCE), a non-profit community benefit society, developed and constructed the project. DVCE is a volunteer led organisation, run by a small team of volunteer directors, who have all worked within Engineering and Management Companies. Funded by the community of Congleton, the project aims to generate enough carbon-free electricity, using hydroelectric power generation, to power 60 homes within this local area.

        Utilising an Archimedean Screw for Micro Hydro Power Generation

        For this project, the team set up a Micro-Hydro System, including an Archimedean Screw. The hydroelectric energy is generated by the nearby Havannah Weir River. The energy is extracted by using the water flow to turn the Archimedean Screw, which is connected to an electrical generator.  Having constructed the whole system in just 12 months, DVCE were able to produce their first load of electricity in a relatively short space of time.

        The area surrounding the Archimedean Screw required significant and extensive ground works, together with a substantial walkway, powerhouse, and piped water inlet system. Whilst designing the project, it became apparent that a core worry would be movement of the terrain, due to weather and time. As a result, they decided they needed to frequently monitor this surrounding area.

        The Archimedean Screw has a life expectancy of 40 years, and the team hope to make returns on their investments in the next 20 years. In addition to generating clean energy, a core objective is to generate an annual surplus, which will fund the local community. It is therefore essential that any change in land stability does not impact the planned generation. The team decided that a monitoring system would help identify any movement so that timely corrective action could be taken.

        Tracking Changes in the Land and Facilities Management

        Via a family member (Dr Jonathan Owen), the team acquired a 3D handheld laser scanner, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Go. The handheld nature of the scanner will mean they can track land movement and vegetation rates over time. In addition, they can map the on-site building to help with facility management and storage.

        GeoSLAM Connect’s Stop and Go Alignment can help the team align these scans, as it would give them a more accurate view of the exterior and interior areas together.

        GeoSLAM technology is ideal for this type of work, due to the uneven terrain. The mobile device can map an area by simply walking around, whereas systems that require a more complicated setup would struggle to scan the area promptly.

        The Benefits of GeoSLAMs Technology

        The ZEB Go’s speed of capture enables DVCE to carry out scans of the 100m x 100m area surrounding the Micro-Hydro System in just 25 minutes. As the team are detecting change in the ground movements and vegetation, they can frequently scan the area to track any issues that may arise. A great way to document the area, as frequently as DVCE need.

        The ZEB Go’s ease of use means the team would not need to be survey trained for the scan, unlike more complicated to use scanning hardware. Further, the ZEB Go’s capabilities save all the team from having to repeatedly return to the site, as just one individual is needed.

        The team were impressed with the ease that the ZEB Go was used to survey the complete site, with no tripods being needed and no complicated set up.

        Creating Accurate Georeferenced Point Clouds

        Whilst capturing the data, the team laid down control points using a GNSS receiver. This allowed the team to georeference the data using GeoSLAM’s software. Now the surveying pins are in place, the team can simply georeference the data for each scan they conduct.

        Implementing control points was important for DVCE as it allows for clear comparisons between multiple scans of the same area. Georeferenced data places the scan in the real world and makes the data even more accurate. This will benefit the team as they continue to scan the Micro-Hydro System’s surrounding areas in the future and detect any gradual change.

        The ZEB Go delivered an accurate 3D replica of the area that continues to help DVCE in their project.  The versatility of the ZEB Go and resulting point cloud means the team can look into new ways to interpret the data – protecting this vital equipment for both the environment and local community.

        Jonathon was the lucky winner of our ‘Win a ZEB Go Competition’ at GeoBusiness 2021.

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          3D Mapping Informal Settlements in Bengaluru, India

          Location

          Bengaluru, India

          Scan time

          25-27 minutes per scan

          Size

          40 acres

          Scanned

          Informal Settlements

          Industry

          Surveying

          Accurately Mapping Informal Settlements in Bengaluru, India

          The informal settlements in Bengaluru, India, house roughly 16% of the city’s population and there are around 500 recognised in this area.

          Currently, Bengaluru is going through a period of modernisation and urbanisation which has caused the city limits to expand. As a result, the local government must provide documents of every house, detailing accurate measurements of its structure, such as boundary lines and roof heights.

          The government has plans to formally declare ownership of the settlements to the people living in them, which means a map of the whole area was needed.

          The Informal Settlements Narrow Lanes and Changing Environments

          A team from a reputed geospatial company appointed by government, surveyed the area and collected this data. This involved mapping the informal settlements in Bengaluru with their complex layouts. The task was challenging as they include many narrow lanes that are difficult to access. Additionally, people were going about their daily activities.

          Furthermore, some parts of the settlements are in dark and cramped areas whereas others are in direct sunlight. Consequently, the team needed to find adaptable solutions and technology that could handle these difficult environments, as well as deliver on the task in hand.

          The area in question is a no-fly zone, which meant that drones were not an option. However, other methods for capturing data such as static scanning wouldn’t be feasible because of the busyness of the area. The cramped streets also meant the team would struggle to use a backpack solution either.

          Scanning Difficult to Access Areas with ZEB Horizon

          A fast and effective way to map the informal settlements was to walk through the complex passages, and a handheld laser scanner was the most suitable option. The geospatial company chose GeoSLAM’s ZEB Horizon scanner, due to its quick method of capturing accurate data and ease of use. The lightweight solution means that only one person is required to scan an area at any one time. This is less disruptive to the surveying team, which in turn is cost effective for them and their client.

          The extensive maze of restricted passages and dead ends did not affect the versatile SLAM technology. By using the ZEB Horizon, the team were able to scan 40-45 different areas of the settlements. The team captured smaller areas of the informal settlements in a single scan ranging from 25-27 minutes. The team mapped larger areas over multiple scans, sending them to the client individually.

          The ZEB Horizon provided good quality data and allowed us to scan difficult to access areas accurately and efficiently.

          Creating accurate point clouds for the client

          The final scans were imported into GeoSLAM Draw where orthophotos were automatically created. As a result, the engineers could make accurate measurements in a timely manner. In addition, the point clouds were exported to Terra Solid, where further information was extracted for the final report.

          The final data delivered on their client’s accuracy goals. They were able to smoothly extract the boundaries and roofs of every single house in the informal settlements.

          GeoSLAM’s technology in use elsewhere

          This is not the first time that GeoSLAM technology has been used to map informal settlements in India. The ZEB Revo was used to accurately scan the settlements of Mumbai in 2017. The resulting 3D point cloud helped to extract information about the elevations and sections of each house frontage.




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            Surveying Boston City Hall

            Location

            Boston, USA

            Scan time

            Approx. 20 minutes per scan

            Size

            Over 1 million sq/ft

            Scanned

            Boston City Hall

            Industry

            Surveying

            Boston City Hall was built in 1968, to help boost the city’s economy after years of stagnation. The building and surrounding plaza sought to modernize the city’s urban centre, reinvigorating the run-down neighbourhood of Scollay Square.

            Despite the public investment project being welcomed by the people of Boston, the buildings ‘brutalist’ style of architecture created debate amongst the locals, with some suggesting you either love or hate the concrete design. In spite of the concerns from the public, the city
            hall has been home to the mayor of Boston and the city council for over 5 decades, and the ‘brutal’ style of architecture has become part of Boston’s rich history.

            To encourage more people to use Boston City Hall and to increase accessibility, it was decided in 2017 that the City Hall would be renovated to serve a more modernized purpose. The infrastructure upgrades include better access to utilities, plants and fountains in the plaza area, with the intention of encouraging more people to visit.

            The Horizon was a gamechanger…it’s just amazing in terms of the scanning distance, power of the sensor and the ability to easily capture the entire plaza.

            Peter Garran and his team, from Aerial Genomics, were appointed by The City of Boston and Sasaki with the task of scanning both the interior and exterior of the City Hall, in anticipation of the renovation project. Spanning 9 floors and housing multiple individual rooms, as well as a busy plaza area, the task of mapping the building threatened to take several months to complete. Also, the City Hall is an active office that contains confidential rooms and Aerial Genomics did not want to disrupt everyday operations too much. Considering their options, the team decided the fastest and most cost-effective way of mapping the building and its surrounding area would be to use mobile LiDAR scanners.

            They chose a ZEB Horizon to scan the exterior and inside the Main Hall. The ZEB Revo RT was used to map the buildings vast interior. These scanners were chosen due to their speed, accuracy and mobility. By simply walking around the building, Peter and his team captured the large layout, saving them time.

            As they were scanning during the pandemic, it was key for Peter and his team to spend as little time as possible in the building and compared to other scanning methods, GeoSLAM’s scanners were able to deliver on that goal. With the ZEB Horizon, Aerial Genomics captured both the exterior and interior of the Main Hall in just 4 scans, and in less than 2 hours. This scanner was specifically chosen to scan the Main Hall due to its 100m range being able to capture the high walls. To help combat getting in the way of the City Halls’ day-to-day business, the team were given limited amounts of time in the evening to scan a multitude of rooms inside the Hall. Using the ZEB Revo RT, the team could scan the almost 1 million square feet interior, in just 4 nights, consisting of 5 hours each night.

            The scans were processed using GeoSLAM Hub and merged to create one point cloud, by Aerial Genomics. The manoeuvrability, ease of use and accuracy that the ZEB scanners provided meant the data collected was ready within a week, to be created as a BIM model to send to the architects. The simple, easy to use solution meant the architects could start thinking about the redevelopment and renovation, without the need to visit the hall during a pandemic. The final BIM model, created in Autodesk Revit, is still referred to today.

            Video courtesy of Aerial Genomics
            Surveying Boston City Hall

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              Mapping a decommissioned power station

              Location

              Cape Town, South Africa

              Scan time

              8 Hours Total

              Size

              Approx. 117,000 m2

              Scanned

              Power Station

              Industry

              Surveying

              ZEB Family | Safely surveying a hazardous power station

              All over the globe, countries are looking to nuclear and hydro renewables, not only to provide their electricity needs but to meet climate goals. This is resulting in the shutting down of coal-fossil power plants that no longer have a role to play in a fast-changing world.

              Opened in 1962, the Athlone Power Station was the last coal-fired power station operating in Cape Town, South Africa when it stopped generating power in 2003. The iconic cooling towers, which were known by locals as “The two ladies of Athlone” and had long been a feature of the Cape Town landscape, were demolished several years later.

              The efficient user-friendly GeoSLAM equipment enabled the team to safely and comprehensively survey this hazardous and complex plant.

              Proper planning was essential as demolition can be potentially hazardous for the safety of personnel due to the plant’s age-structure, and onsite teams often having to operate across split levels, in total darkness. The removal of contaminated waste can be equally challenging. Cost is also a major factor and companies responsible for shutting down plant are continuously looking at ways to be cost effective while providing a reliable, fast and efficient service.

              Aurecon, a global engineering, design and advisory company, won the tender from the City of Cape Town to project manage the site for the final stage of decommission. This involved surveying the plant whilst stripping, clearing and removing unused material, redundant equipment and certain historical structures. Their task also included securing all remaining structures, leaving the site in a secure state and registering servitudes for remaining bulk services. Aurecon found Athlone to be a challenging project due to accessibility issues and lack of light. Also, because of the Power Station’s historical importance, salvaging certain unique equipment had to be considered. The team needed a simple and effective solution that could accurately map the site quickly while keeping them safe in a tough environment.

              Aurecon chose to work with mobile LiDAR scanners so that the historians, structural engineers and environmentalists could have the data they needed, without having to enter the potentially dangerous site. For the Athlone project, GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT scanner and ZEB Pano camera were used, as well as the ZEB Horizon and ZEB Cam. The building’s interior and exterior were scanned with the ZEB scanners The two data sets were merged to provide a full 3D point cloud of the entire building.

              Using the Pano, the team generated photos that were incorporated inside the point cloud, so that the offsite survey team could have greater visualisation of the site to feedback commentary. The efficiency of the scanners and speed of capture meant that unlike other scanning methods, the team could repeatedly capture the site. This meant that decisions and assessments could be taken frequently, without the need for lots of people to visit the dangerous site.

              In total, the whole facility was scanned in three days with data sets processed overnight, a total of eight hours. The combined datasets were available within a week, which enabled Aurecon’s modellers to commence work on the classification of components in the power station.

              The final 3D point cloud representation of the interior of the power station enabled the engineering team to assess and quantify the amount of salvage and scrapped material to be removed from the site, and to plan the logistics of the removal in context with the physical shape and size of the existing building.

              The accurate 3D model equipped the stakeholders with information that allowed them to safely and precisely analyse for activities such as material quantification, condition assessment and the preparation of decommissioning method statements.





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                3D Scanning Construction and Demolition Waste

                Location

                Egypt

                Scan time

                17 minutes per scan

                Size

                82,823 m2

                Scanned

                Construction and demolition waste

                Industry

                Construction

                The government of Egypt (GoE) are leading several initiatives to reuse and recycle the ever-increasing quantities of construction and demolition Waste (CDW) around the country. These initiatives include a national strategy and action plan to effectively manage around 40 million tons of CDW generated annually. They target to recycle 50% of CDW materials by 2030. One of the major challenges facing Municipalities in Egypt is calculating the amount of CDW accumulated, due to illegal dumping of waste being common place in cities.

                Commissioned by the Ministry of Environment and the GIZ institution, HBRC (Housing and Building National Research Centre) have been tasked with finding effective methods for quantifying and characterising the amount of CDW in four Egyptian Governorates (Gharbia, Kafr-El-Sheikh, Assuit and Qena).

                This project paves the way to developing an optimal construction and demolition waste management strategy in Egypt. The research team used GeoSLAM’s ZEB Revo RT SLAM laser scanner to map the construction waste piles. The scan data is a sound method for quantifying waste volumes over a period of time, due to the ease of capture and accurate data.

                The traditional surveying of CDW accumulations was not practical as CDW locations are difficult to walk through and experience rapid changes to the waste quantities.

                The ZEB Revo RT is ideal for rapid data capture in real time, making it the perfect tool for this job. By walking through the construction and demolition waste sites, the team are mapping as they go, shortening the amount of time spent in a hazardous environment, reducing health and safety risks.

                The simplicity of the solution means that anybody can capture the data, with minimal training, making the scans repeatable as often as needed. Covering an area of 84,823 m2, the research team conducted 12 scans, dividing the route into zones and each scan lasted an average of 17 minutes.

                Once the scanning was complete, they opened the data in GeoSLAM Hub where the point cloud can be viewed and prepared for GeoSLAM Volumes. Using GeoSLAM Volumes, the researchers could accurately calculate the quantity of construction and demolition waste. The findings were reported back in a presentation during the third International conference on Smart Cities.

                This way of calculating volumes is fast, efficient, cost effective, safer than other methods and repeatable, making the SLAM scanner the right tool for the job. The research effort opens the door into the utilisation of 3D modelling of construction waste management sites.

                The application of laser technology would enable the quick and accurate estimation and modeling of waste quantities.

                https://youtu.be/3iEXCsonWBg

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                  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.

                  If you’d like to learn more about how GeoSLAM solutions can help you, submit the form below.




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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 Meters

                    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.