Using Drone LiDAR and Photogrammetry to Create a Digital Twin
Thompson Engineering, a proven leader in planning design, construction, and response solutions, utilizes drone Photogrammetry and LiDAR technology to survey, map, and create a digital twin of the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park to help with preservation and maintenance efforts.
To see how they collected and processed the data to create both a digital twin and complete orthophoto of the park, CLICK HERE to watch NOW On-Demand.
“Down to Earth” is a reality series that shows how real surveyors collect data and turn it into real deliverables, despite challenging terrain, rough weather, and hidden dangers. In this latest series, the crew journeys into Mobile, Alabama, where the USS Alabama Battleship is the anchor attraction at the Memorial Park which has welcomed generations of family members, veterans, and tourists. However, large structures, an active tourist site, and other challenges face the team at Thompson Engineering as they set out to survey the Mighty A.
On these episodes of Down to Earth, Robert Chrismon, PLS and Marketing Manager at Microdrones, joins the Thompson Engineering team to observe these challenges, provide drone surveying expertise, and offer data processing support. Brad Busby, the Survey Team Lead at Thompson says, “Having Robert out there is great support since he’s a licensed surveyor. He can relate to us and understand what we’re talking about.”
In episode 1, Robert and the team from Thompson Engineering meet up with Ross Kenney, the UAS Sales and Support Lead from Navigation Electronics, Inc. (NEI), a distributor of Microdrones integrated systems, who’s excited to demonstrate the capabilities of the all new mdLiDAR1000HR. According to Kenney, “We’re going to be able to scan every nook and cranny of that ship.” That’s because the new mdLiDAR1000HR creates high resolution point clouds and provides increased coverage.
Episode 2 introduces Cody Floyd, Surveyor PIC at Thompson, who pilots the mdMapper1000DG to perform the photogrammetry mission. This will collect the data to create an orthophoto of the entire site and provide colorization for the LiDAR point cloud. Floyd, who also interned at the Park, explains the deliverables. “We’re here to do a survey of the Battleship Memorial Park to provide them with something they can use for future improvements and additions.”
The third episode occurs at the Mobile office of Thompson Engineering where the team works through the process and visualize portion of the workflow. Jason Gibson, PLS for Thompson Engineering reviews the trajectory processing while working towards a final orthomosaic and then Robert Chrismon displays the digital twin of the USS Alabama in a LiDAR point cloud created in mdInfinity. Adam Mccullough, Survey Technology Lead at Thompson was excited to see the data. “To me the data speaks for itself. Just looking at the point cloud, you can see how dense and crisp it is around the buildings, the planes and all the cars in the parking lot.”
The final episode is a new segment featuring a round table discussion where the team reviews the project, shares their final thoughts and insights all while enjoying a cold beverage. Watch the entire series now and see how to create a digital twin with drone LiDAR.