Trends Winter 2017 | Page 13

HIGH-DEFINITION, HIGH-DENSITY, HIGH-TECH Rapid collection, detailed measurements available through HD laser scanning surveying technique By Jennifer Schmidt A s the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of high-definition (HD) laser scanning, that picture truly is worth a thousand words – as well as millions of data points. HD laser scanning (also called terrestrial scanning) is an innovative measuring technology that can capture millions of points within minutes, essentially creating a three-dimensional data set of the surveyed surface. HD scanning offers a higher level of detail – and accuracy – than traditional surveying and is helping clients collect critical data faster, more efficiently, and with added value. With most projects, a one-time scan of the site is all that will ever be needed. “We may be called in to specifically survey a certain piece of a whole. HD laser scanning allows us to pick up that detail but also all the detail around it – so it limits return trips if there are future surveying needs,” explained Jason Ingram, survey manager at Ayres Associates. Such was the case at the Byllesby Dam in Dakota County, Minnesota. Ayres was part of a team hired to evaluate turbine operations and design turbine and powerhouse upgrades. A survey crew completed an HD laser scan of the existing powerhouse interior. Surveyors initially scanned one part of the dam but, in the process, also collected areas of the dam that were not the original target, and it was to the County’s benefit that they did. During construction the team received a request for data next to the target to allow for a design-build process. Instead of having to revisit the site, the surveyors simply used their previously collected data to provide the design Cross-sections of the existing dam spillway, Hatfield (Wisconsin) Dam │13