LiDAR News - Got Time_LidarUSA Article-2014-01-20

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LiDAR News - Got Time_LidarUSA Article-2014-01-20
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LiDAR News
Monday, Jan. 20, 2013
LiDAR NEWS TOP STORY
Got Time?
Written by Jeff Fagerman
Friday, 17 January 2014
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I wanted to
write about the
weather,
because nothing
changes like the
weather, but I
didn’t have the
time. Then it hit
me - write about
time. Can
anybody define
time? Scientists
and philosophers
seem to struggle
with this. I like
some of the
more
understandable
and simpler
definitions. Time
flies when you are having fun. Time stands still when you are bored. A
stitch in time saves nine. There’s a time and place for everything. There’s
no time like the present. Time and tide wait for no man. Time is money.
Time will tell. Time is precious. Time is running out.
It Cost What?
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Time is not tangible. It cannot be weighed in the balance. It has no
volume. It is not visible. Yet, we are surrounded by it, live in it, wear it,
and see it pass us by. Time is a tool. What can we do with time and how
do we spend it? It is our most precious commodity.
TAS Lidar Content
Order an INS (inertial navigation system) After a lot of R&D a new
product arrives on the scene. Today it is the NovAtel INS built upon the
STIM300 from Sensonor. This is a low cost, high performance, low noise
MEMS (Micro Electromechanical System) IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit)
to be installed in a new Snoopy mobile mapping system. If you don’t
already know, an INS is an integral part of every mobile mapping
system. Theoretically an INS requires no external reference information
to determine position, orientation, or velocity but we obviously use GPS
to provide global geo-referencing.
Build a Snoopy. Spending a little of our precious time, our new INS is
installed with our Snoopy system. A quick test is performed to make sure
all is working. Everything looks fine.
Videos
Get ready to
test. The next
step is a quick
drive through our
boresight field.
On the way to the
site we setup the
base station. This
is a dual
Safari Power Saver
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is a dual
frequency GPS
unit (CHC X900
to be specific)
operating at 1Hz
or better. A base
station is
necessary for
most mobile
mapping. The
unit generally sits
on a known point
(or a point that
will be computed
using an OPUS or
similar solution).
The purpose of
the base station
is to collect
ephemeris data from the GPS constellation to be used in a post
processing step to compute an adjusted trajectory of our mobile system.
Ephemeris data contains health and position data for each satellite in
view for a particular instance in time. Without a base station our solution
will not be nearly as accurate. There are alternatives to using your own
base station such as a CORS station but it is almost always better to be
safe than sorry – use your own base station. Also, we collect at 1Hz (i.e.
one record per second) or better. If less data is collected then the
accuracy will begin to degrade in the final solution.
Collect some data. Now we’re ready for lunch. So we grab a burger and
drive around the local neighborhood scanning as we go. Since the INS is
new to us we want to see how it fares in reasonable GPS outage areas.
We drive around some buildings and treed areas with no or intermittent
GPS.
Back in the
office. The data
is now ready to
be processed.
The base station
and mobile data
is gathered
together and
quickly processed
through NovAtel’s
Inertial Explorer
to generate an
accurate
trajectory. The
boresight is
computed.
Finally, the point
cloud is
generated.
Everything looks
great.
To finish a normal project we might have to register the data to local
survey control but in this case we just wanted to make sure everything
was working and to see what happened in the GPS challenged areas. The
data is impressive. Looping around with multiple passes leaves our
buildings, power lines, trees, and roadway features nearly perfectly
aligned. The STIM300 has proven to be a very nice unit on its first
outing.
Spatial Media LLC properties
Associates
In this little experiment we spent two or three hours total building the
system, collecting the data and processing the results. Time is precious.
Time is billable. Time is fleeting. In our community of rapidly advancing
technology, we have to be able to use our time wisely. Invest in time
saving measures.
Lastly if you like a good book, read The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. It
will be a pleasant and relaxing use of your time.
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