It’s no UFO! It’s a UAV Used For 3D Laser Scanning Services

A UFO brought to you by 3D laser scanning

It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! It’s..It’s.. It IS a bird! No wait! It’s a flying robot! Wait, what? Today, look into the sky and you are likely to see a UFO. I don’t mean an alien invasion, but instead its some guy down at your local 3D laser scanning services department doing a run of the mill 3D laser scan. Be sure to go over and give him a bear hug, fist bump, chest bump, and an old-fashioned high-five. Buy him lunch or something because someday when you suddenly need some hydrodynamic modeling done or a digital elevation model, he will be the guy to call. He will be using what is called a UAV. That’s a simple way to say unmanned aerial vehicle. Basically, it is one of those toy drones that you bought at Hamleys, except it is for big boys. It’s got a camera and a laser scanner on that thing!

There is a reason for flying 3D laser scanning services

UAV’s have become a very useful tool for 3D laser scanning services experts. 3D laser scanning sounds easy enough. Take the scanner and point at the object, move it all around the object and you are done. The truth is that it is not always that easy. Places that need scanned are not always in the most convenient spots. If area is high up, then scanning crews have to risk injury by climbing up high ladders. That can be dangerous and costly. Usually if scanning crews are crawling around, then some parts of production will have to stop. Not only that but scans aren’t able to be done from just one position.They will have to come down and reposition the ladders and the equipment to get a the rest of the area. There is definitely a need for a better way to get that type of scanning done. The answer obviously is using drone technology to get it down. Just send that thing up in the air and let it buzz around.

It all in the 3D Laser scanning clouds

The flying 3D laser scanner works basically the same way as the other 3D laser scanners used by 3D laser scanning services. The only difference is that it goes airborne. Attached to the UAV is a camera and a 3D laser scanning device. The 3D laser scanner has a laser and a sensor. As the drone flies around in the air, the laser bounces off of the surface of the object being scanned. It then reflect back to the sensor which record the distance as point. Millions of these points are collected and save as a point cloud. The point cloud is what the engineers use to recreate the surface as a digital model. Once that is done then they can bring that bad boy in for landing. If the batteries run out then I hope everyone is wearing a hard hat.

So the next time you see a UAV buzzing around in the sky don’t go get your shotgun thinking it is the nosey neighbor. It just may be the 3D laser scanning services guy doing what he does best. Don’t forget to send him a birthday card.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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