Laser Technology

UTEC offers both terrestrial and subsea laser scanning. Featuring 3mm accuracy, our 3D laser scanners work by emitting light and detecting the reflection of the light to accurately determine the distance to the reflected object. Rather than making a single point measurement as the traditional instruments (i.e. total stations), 3D laser scanners have rotating mirrors- or the entire unit rotates- that allow millions of measurements to be made over a scene in just a few minutes. There are two primary types of laser scanners: time-of-flight scanners and phase-shift scanners. The time-of-flight scanners are capable of surveying at longer ranges (up to 150m); phase-shift scanners can reach distances of up to 45m but can survey much quicker. Each setup takes only a few minutes. Immediately after one pulse is received and measured, the scanner transmits another optical pulse slightly horizontal (or vertical - depending on the scanner) to the previous pulse using a rotating mirror.

This process is repeated thousands of times per second, thus generating distance values for millions of points on a reflected surface. Based on the distance and the orientation of the laser pulse, the xyz coordinates associated with each reflected pulse as well as the intensity of the returned pulse can be determined. In general, light colored objects and closer objects give a higher reflection compared with darker objects and objects further away thus giving a photographic quality because of the intensity values. Together, the xyz coordinates and associated intensity values for millions of data points output by the laser make up the “point cloud” which is then processed to produce drawings or 3D models or is directly put into applications like Inventor that accept such a file format.

UTEC can provide traditional 2D formats such as cross sections, elevations or plans in AutoCAD, Adobe PDF or JPEG format. However, with the rollout of advanced 3D modeling utilizing TruView® technology, customers gain more advantages. This robust and versatile method of viewing and collecting data enables UTEC to analyze highly complex sites and assets very quickly and easily. With access to 3D models, frequent visits to the site become unnecessary decreasing disruption to operations and ultimately reducing risk and cost. Additionally, comparing existing infrastructure and proposed installations becomes considerably easier. All deliverables are quality assured automatically to ensure the best possible results.