Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Every year, wastewater managers must make decisions about which portions of their collection system should be maintained, rehabilitated or replaced. With the EPA and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) both projecting hundreds of billions of dollars of investment shortfalls facing our aging wastewater infrastructure, it is more important than ever that our wastewater managers are able to spend these limited funds most wisely to reduce risks and maintain service levels at a low cost.
Wastewater managers make these crucial prioritization and investment decisions based on the best information available to them at the time. Unfortunately, this information is often incomplete and inconclusive at best. Closed-circuit television (CCTV), the primary technology for assessing sewer pipe condition, is a qualitative tool that captures video images from inside pipes. Especially in critical large-diameter trunks and interceptors, visual-only inspection is often unreliable and leaves decision-makers with the tough task of evaluating which pipes might appear to be deteriorating. With costly rehab decisions at stake, wastewater managers need facts on corrosion severity, not just visual evidence of potential problems.
Fortunately, a wide range of tools have been developed to complement CCTV inspections and provide wastewater managers with objective measurements. One of the most useful technologies is laser scanning, which precisely measures a pipeline’s size, shape and level of corrosion. These quantitative measurements can characterize corrosion deterioration, identify deformation and allow decision-makers to objectively benchmark portions of the collection system for prioritization of repairs or replacement. Over time, these measurements can provide a calculated rate of deterioration so managers can understand where and how problems are developing. In addition to these measurements, many laser technologies generate color-coded 3D models to visually show problem areas in an easy-to-understand format.
LIDAR & Structured Light Profiling
When someone refers to “laser scanning,” they are actually referring to one of two commonly used “laser” technologies: Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) or Structured Light Profiling. Both laser technologies are similar in that they only take measurements above the fluid level and do not work underwater. Inspection techniques that measure below the fluid level, such as sonar, can be combined with either laser technology to measure the full 360 degree cross-section of the pipe, which is critical to accurately assessing corrosion, deformation and sedimentation levels. While LIDAR and Structured Light Profiling collect similar information, they work using different methods.
LIDAR works by bouncing photons of light off of an object (in this case, the pipe wall) and measuring how long it takes for that light to return to the LIDAR scanner. This measured time-of-flight can then be converted to a distance measurement. Photons of light can be sent out by the scanner at all angles in all directions. These individual measurements can be assembled into a full 3D model of the pipe interior, called a “point cloud.” The 3D model can then be analyzed to highlight areas where the pipe is corroding or deforming.
Structured Light Profiling, often called “laser profiling,” uses a visible laser in conjunction with a conventional CCTV camera. The laser projects a red ring onto the pipe wall at a precise distance in front of the CCTV camera. With the lights of the CCTV camera turned off, this red ring is easily visible in the image. Image processing techniques can then measure the size and shape of the red ring. For example, if the pipe is deformed or misshapen, the red ring will appear to be an oval. If the pipe is corroded or becomes enlarged, the red ring will appear closer to the edges of the camera’s image. Each frame of the video constitutes another cross-section measurement of the pipeline, and as the inspection progresses through the pipe, these slices can be assembled into a full 3D model.
Which Technology Is Right for the Job?
LIDAR and Structured Light Profiling are both valuable technologies. Which technology will better meet the needs of a given condition assessment project will depend on the pipe’s size and the intended purpose of the survey.
Each technology works within a certain range of pipe sizes, so considering the pipeline size is a good place to start in choosing the appropriate technology for a given project. LIDAR has only been commercially used in pipelines of 30 in. in diameter and larger, but can be used to scan even the largest deep tunnels and underground chambers, including successful surveys of tunnels measuring 240 in. and larger. Structured Light Profiling can work in pipelines as small as 6 in. but is less feasible in pipes larger than 120 in. Structured Light Profiling is difficult to scale to larger pipe sizes, since the power of the laser and the distance it is fixed in front of the camera must both increase with the size of the pipe. Apart from size, both technologies work in round or non-round pipes and in all common pipe materials.
The purpose of the inspection may also play a role in determining which technology is better for a particular job. Both technologies produce similar condition assessment information such as corrosion levels, deformation, and size measurements. However, LIDAR can also provide additional information. Since LIDAR is scanning full 3-D point clouds, features like bends in the pipe can be accurately modeled and measured. When it comes time to slipline a given section of pipe, the precise bend angles and bend radius measurements from the LIDAR can be factored into the rehab design. Structured Light Profiling, since it is only measuring cross-sectional slices of the pipe, will not be able to measure bends. On the other hand, Structured Light Profiling surveys can often be done more quickly, and thus less expensively, than LIDAR scanning. Both technologies produce results of similar accuracy — typically 0.5 percent of the pipe’s diameter or better.
Whether using LIDAR or Structured Light Profiling, wastewater managers will be able to base their decisions on objective and quantitative information. Instead of poring over videos and photos to deduce which areas might be suffering from the worst problems, imagine being able to compare a pipeline that has 1.4 in. of corrosion wall loss vs. another with only 0.6 in. By scanning the same pipeline over multiple years, decisions can be based on a rate of deterioration and a fact-based remaining useful life.
If you injure your leg, a doctor will likely complement their visual observations with an X-ray to objectively determine if you’ve broken a bone. Just like X-rays at the hospital, today’s laser technologies provide wastewater managers with objective information to take the guesswork out of condition assessment. With limited funds, this information allows wastewater managers to most wisely steward our infrastructure.
Friday, July 22, 2016
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
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Monday, June 6, 2016
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Friday, June 3, 2016
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Friday, May 27, 2016
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Monday, April 18, 2016
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Thursday, March 17, 2016
LAKE MARY, Fla. -- FARO Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: FARO), the world's most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging, and realization technology, announces the launch of the FARO Early Adopter (EA) Program.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Camera design and manufacturing company, NCTech, is today launching the world’s first fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera at SPAR International 2012 in Texas.
Monday, April 16, 2012
PARIS, April 16, 2012 Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) today introduced three new solutions for heavy civil construction professionals, the Trimble® Connected Office, the Trimble Connected Controller and the Trimble Connected Machine.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Every year, wastewater managers must make decisions about which portions of their collection system should be maintained, rehabilitated or replaced.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
FARO Introduces Next Generation Focus3D Laser Scanner
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
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Monday, July 27, 2009
Certified Associate and Certified Professional exams now available for newest versions of AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit Architecture, and AutoCAD Civil 3D Software
Friday, June 15, 2007
STANDARD METHOD FOR MEASURING FLOOR AREA IN OFFICE BUILDINGS Q and A
Thursday, February 15, 2007
3D Laser Mapping, the UK based specialists in laser measurement technology and software, is helping Kumba Iron Ore to improve the safety of iron ore extraction in South Africa.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Architects should use caution when giving record drawings to clients and when creating “as-built” drawings. Examples of provisional language that might be used to mitigate the risk involved with “as- built” drawings are included.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Measuring Floor Area for Commercial Leases
Monday, January 15, 2007
3D Laser Mapping has launched a mobile mapping system designed to capture asbuilt 3D measurements of overhead telecom networks.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
EXTON, PA., January 4 /CNW/ - Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced Bentley OnSite, breakthrough software that connects the worlds of civil engineering design and construction.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
CALGARY, Alberta, December 13, 2006 - GiveMePower Corporation (OTCBB: GMPW), today launched two new ultra-mobile computing solutions for building surveying and inspection, construction area estimating and reporting, and facilities asset and information management.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
3D Laser Mapping has launched StreetMapper 2, a new modular vehicle-mounted system for rapid 3D mapping on and off road. The portable system uses lasers to 3D map assets and the landscape to millimeter accuracy at speeds of up to 70 km an hour.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) today announced support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Autodesk and Microsoft work together across many technology areas.
Monday, November 6, 2006
BIM is certainly changing the way buildings are designed and constructed, but is it changing how they're operated and maintained?
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Prime Edge Asbuilt Services today announced that it is underway to develop a full set of business applications for use by of professionals within construction, property management and design industries.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Preparing for the changes of aging, including declining mobility, is also a concern.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK)today announced the launch of the Autodesk FMDesktop Product Suite, a powerful, easy-to-use software solution for facilities management.
Monday, October 9, 2006
Ranal Software Solutions – one of the leading PLM products and service providers, and part of the Ranal Group – has launched CAMeLEAN®/PM, in India. CAMeLEAN®/PM is a complete project management suite that guides organizations through the entire project management lifecycle.
Friday, September 15, 2006
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Monday, August 21, 2006
FeaturePics.com, an emerging stock photography web site, which have been serving photographing community since 2004 had agreed to work on the development of new stock photography interface with Prime Edge Asbuilt Services, a professional service in SF Bay Area serving a network of Architects, Homeowners and General Contractors.
Monday, April 3, 2006
Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), today announced it has completed the acquisition of Constructware, a privately held company based in Alpharetta, Georgia that provides on-demand communication and collaboration solutions that streamline design, construction and facility management. The acquisition, announced on February 7, 2006, closed for cash consideration of US $46 million (see press release).
Friday, March 24, 2006
Autodesk Revit Building 9, Revit Structure 3, ADT 2007, Autodesk Building Systems 2007, Autodesk VIZ 2007 launched.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
As-builts – Problems & Proposed Solutions
Friday, May 28, 2004
Measuring square footage is not always an exact science. There are a number of rentable square footage measurement standards commonly used in the commercial real estate market.
Friday, January 31, 1997
The American National Standard for measuring floor area in office buildings is changing. The new version (officially labeled ANSI/BOMA Z65.1-1996) is an improved method designed to meet the current and future needs of the many industry professionals concerned with the measurement of office buildings.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
In his inaugural speech the new President made many references to using our natural resources more wisely, to reducing our carbon and water footprints, and investing in smart electric grids and other similar new energy-efficient technologies. Energy conservation and sustainability are top priorities and efforts are underway in many states to reinforce that--many offering fast tracked permitting to those projects that are "green".
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Leica Geosystems announces the immediate availability of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D. This powerful and easy-to-learn point cloud solution is designed for Intergraph SmartPlant 3D users who want to take full advantage of accurate, laser scan as-built data directly in SmartPlant 3D.