A comparison of mobile scanning to a total station survey at the I-35 and IA 92 interchange in Warren County, Iowa.
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A comparison of mobile scanning to a total station survey at the I-35 and IA 92 interchange in Warren County, Iowa.

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    • Abstract:
      The purpose of this project was to investigate the potential for collecting and using data from mobile terrestrial laser scanning (MTLS) technology that would reduce the need for traditional survey methods for the development of highway improvement projects at the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT). The primary interest in investigating mobile scanning technology is to minimize the exposure of field surveyors to dangerous high volume traffic situations.

      Issues investigated were cost, timeframe, accuracy, contracting specifications, data capture extents, data extraction capabilities and data storage issues associated with mobile scanning. The project area selected for evaluation was the I-35/IA 92 interchange in Warren County, Iowa. This project covers approximately one mile of I-35, one mile of IA 92, 4 interchange ramps, and bridges within these limits.

      Delivered LAS and image files for this project totaled almost 31GB. There is nearly a 6-fold increase in the size of the scan data after post-processing. Camera data, when enabled, produced approximately 900MB of imagery data per mile using a 2-camera, 5 megapixel system.

      A comparison was done between 1823 points on the pavement that were surveyed by Iowa DOT staff using a total station and the same points generated through the MTLS process. The data acquired through the MTLS and data processing met the Iowa DOT specifications for engineering survey.

      A list of benefits and challenges is included in the detailed report. With the success of this project, it is anticipate that additional projects will be scanned for the Iowa DOT for use in the development of highway improvement projects.

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