Mapping off the beaten track – with OxTS LiDAR Survey
At OxTS, our expertise in inertial navigation has allowed us to provide a reliable and accurate georeferencing solution. The solution comprises of an OxTS INS, and our LiDAR georeferencing software OxTS Georeferencer. This has traditionally been for the survey and mapping market although we’re starting to see other industries take an interest.
Predominantly used on the road, we enable centimetre-level accurate pointcloud creation with our LiDAR and INS integrations, alongside our OxTS Georeferencer software. However, we are now seeing a greater need for localisation and georeferencing technology in both GNSS denied areas and those that cannot be reached by car. This is particularly evident in the construction, environmental, conservation and heritage industries. These industries all have varying requirements when it comes to accuracy and pointcloud quality.
We have also seen pointclouds used for virtual reality experiences at conferences (and done it ourselves!). This provides visitors with an immersive experience of the data they can collect. With this in mind, we took a trip to Minster Lovell with our new development tool, a LiDAR mounted backpack. Using the backpack we did some mapping ‘off the beaten track’ to see what we could achieve.
Minster Lovell Hall
If there is one thing we have aplenty in the UK, it’s historical buildings. With over 350,000 buildings listed because of their historical importance, there is no shortage of interesting buildings to survey.
Minster Lovell Hall is an English Heritage site, in OxTS’ local county of Oxfordshire. Built in the 1430s by William, Baron of Lovell and Holand – one of the richest men in England – it was later home to Francis, Viscount Lovell, a close ally of Richard III. After several owners took charge of the hall it was abandoned and eventually demolished in the 18th century, leaving the extensive remains that stand today.
The buildings are grouped around a central courtyard in a form characteristic of a late medieval manor house, and it proved to be a great place to test our prototype backpack. With dense tree canopies on one side, tight doorways, narrow views of the sky and plenty of height to test the angled mounting of our survey-focused LiDAR; while also providing some open sky areas to allow us to get back to RTK before surveying another section of the hall.
And the backpack, alongside our ability to optimise, boresight and post-process stood up to the challenge to produce the following pointcloud:
If you have an environment like this, where access is difficult for vehicles, but you need to create highly accurate 3D pointclouds, or you’re interested in understanding how to make a splash at your next conference, get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss your project further.
What’s on the backpack?
The backpack itself has been created to enable us to collect data quickly without a car. It has two Hesai LiDAR sensors, one of our new prototype INS devices, and a single antenna. We then connect to a laptop, which allows us to configure, warm-up, optimise lever arms and boresight the system. This process allows us to collect the best possible data.
LiDAR Surveying Brochure
OxTS INS devices provide users with absolute position and highly accurate inertial measurement information. This information allows them to georeference pointclouds from multiple LiDAR sensors.
These measurements help increase survey repeatability, cut down the time to survey, intelligently analyse data, improve final results and increase project ROI.
Read the OxTS LiDAR Surveying brochure to find out more.
OxTS Boresight Calibration Brochure
Failure to align the coordinate frames of an INS and LiDAR sensor precisely enough can lead to blurring and double-vision in pointclouds.
OxTS’ experience in calibration techniques has allowed us to develop a data-driven approach to boresighting. The method gives users the ability to calibrate the coordinate frames of their INS and LiDAR to a tenth of a degree in minutes.
Read the Boresight Calibration brochure to find out how.
Case Study: Dronezone srl.
OxTS Partner, Dronezone Srl. were tasked with scanning an ageing railway bridge to identify potential weaknesses in its structure and understand how it had degraded over time.
Once they made the decision to survey the bridge using a UAV, there were a number of challenges they faced, specifically around payload weight, flight time, data processing, pointcloud accuracy and more.
This case study details how they overcame them.
Case Study: Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey was in need of a quicker, scalable and more cost effective way to collect georeferenced pointcloud data.
They engaged with OxTS and local channel partner Datron Technology to understand what was achievable. As a result they were able to create highly accurate pointclouds and reduce costs all whilst improving the efficiency of their mobile mapping operations.
This case study details how they did it.