3D Laser Scanning Services: Developing Training Tools
Digitalization is a Global Trend
As part of the VRscan3D project, a virtual terrestrial laser scanner simulator was developed as a training tool to aid in the laser 3D laser scanning services. It’s designed for use by universities and organizations that don’t have or can’t afford real terrestrial laser scanning equipment. In addition, this virtual solution acclimates to the teaching digitalization trend, which has accelerated.
Digitalization is a global trend that has impacted nearly every industry. There are numerous examples of this in the geospatial industry, as well as in education. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that, in today’s world, the digitalization of education is not only a viable option but a requirement.
Academic institutions are also responsible for educating their students on the current needs and demands of the professional market and industry, including how to use the most up-to-date technology and perform subsequent data processing. Laser 3D scanning services equipment, on the other hand, can cost anywhere from €15,000 to €80,000 per unit today.
As a result, some educational institutions, particularly in developing countries, find it difficult to provide such devices for training purposes. Virtual systems can offer a cost-effective, flexible, and future-proof solution in this situation.
How 3D Laser Scanning Services Are Being Used
The VRscan3D project aims to create a virtual laser scanner simulator and related training concepts to assist universities and user groups with limited or no access to terrestrial laser 3D scanning (TLS) equipment. Students and teachers in geomatics, heritage, construction, and other related higher-education departments with limited access to costly terrestrial laser 3D laser scanning equipment are the primary target groups for the VRscan3D simulator.
The virtual tool allows for the simulation of all terrestrial laser 3D scanning fieldwork processes and produces results comparable to data generated by actual scanners on-site. Furthermore, similar to real surveying practices, these results can be further processed in common software packages.
It is possible to create realistic environmental scenarios that meet the requirements of practical projects using the VRscan3D simulator that has been developed thus far. Users can move an avatar around the screen, define measuring stations and targets, choose between different scanner types and their specifications, and customize their settings.
The virtual 3D scanner’s center projects an angular grid of beams during simulation. Discrete point coordinates are calculated by intersecting each beam with the nearest surface. Noise and intensity values have been added to them.
The 3D scanner’s range specification determines the maximum range of surface search. The simulation generates a structured 3D point cloud in various file formats, which can be imported into other software for further processing. In the local scanner coordinate system, each scan station generates a single point cloud in the local scanner coordinate system. Furthermore, 3D models/digital twins of real-world objects like buildings or sites can be created and integrated into the simulator environment.