Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New program to expand, enhance use of LIDAR sensing technology

Space Daily: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a new system that will enable highway construction engineers in the field to immediately analyze soil movements caused by active landslides and erosion and use the powerful tool of LIDAR to better assess and deal with them. The advance, being outlined this week at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, is just one of the latest innovations with this laser technology, the use of which has mushroomed in recent years in the study of everything from earthquakes and tsunamis to beach erosion and road construction.

The new computer program announced by OSU engineers is already being used to study soil movements at several landslides or trouble spots on the Oregon coast, and has promise to improve the use of LIDAR in the field, quickly and efficiently, by trained engineers. The program was developed by Michael Olsen, a LIDAR expert and assistant professor of civil and construction engineering at OSU, and a team of several students including Shawn Butcher, Alfred Flammang, Rebecca Pankow, and Andrew Johnson.

..."When you're in the field dealing with a landslide or moving soils, it's costly and time-consuming to have to take data back to the office for analysis," Olsen said. "The technology we're developing should provide critical data to help solve problems right in the field, improve construction quality and efficiency, and ultimately reduce costs and improve safety."...

A diagram of LIDAR geometry by John E. Barnes, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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