The objective of this Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award is to enable multidisciplinary research in data-driven management of cultural, physical, and biological resources by acquisition of a 3D laser scanner and point cloud modeling software. This technology would be employed to rapidly gather and model high resolution, three-dimensional coordinate and photographic data (in essence, taking 3D pictures). Commercially-available laser scanning and point cloud modeling technology will advance the research, teaching, and outreach of multiple fields, including Construction, Archeology, Biological Sciences, Forensic Science, and Computer Science. This research forges multi-disciplinary sustainability-related research in data-driven management of cultural, physical, and biological resources. The level of detail and accuracy afforded by commercially-available laser scanners enables investigators to create detailed models of existing conditions of Intelligent Sites under investigation (e.g. for construction, archeology, or ecological studies) over distances on the order of hundreds of meters. The acquisition will support the investigators' efforts to: 1) test novel approaches for modeling and analysis of sites under investigation; 2) augment other data sources, such as webcam data, with spatial information; and 3) implement hybrid models to enable multi-disciplinary research among construction, archeology, and biology domains.
The acquisition will support the University's outreach efforts in several ways, providing significant impact. The equipment will support cutting edge instruction in data acquisition methods for multiple land surveying, forensic science, and archeology courses. This will enhance ongoing outreach efforts to engage high school and professionals in emerging technology applications in engineering through annual engineering summer camps and Engineer's Week activities, and continuing education to local industry. Furthermore, this acquisition will support development and dissemination of undergraduate and master's research in data-driven management of cultural, physical, and biological resources, including such Intelligent Sites as a newly-established 380-acre nature preserve on campus.
. To this end, the investigators have identified and procured a Leica C10 laser scanner and Innovmetric Polyworks software to visualize scan data collected with this scanner. Intellectual merit: With this technology, the team is now able to form a spatial model basis for management of intelligent sites (construction, biological, archeological, etc.) To this end, the investigators have employed the technology for systematic data collection and preliminary analysis for two ongoing intelligent sites: (1) one site for erosion monitoring where laser scans are taken at regular intervals; and (2) one 32,000 square foot construction jobsite, where laser scans and webcam images are collected at regular intervals during construction. In addition, investigators have employed the technology to collect data to compare terrestrial scanning and mobile scanning accuracy for infrastructure evaluation. The abstract for this study has recently been accepted to an upcoming ASCE publication. Broader impact: Already the investigators have initiated one seminar to archeology students about laser scanning technology in advance of upcoming archeology senior design projects and two senior design projects (including applications to erosion monitoring and construction site inspection). The laser scanner and associated software are employed in the Land Surveying Specialization.