Geometry In Motion [GIM]

Albatroz Engineering adapted its 3D modeling tools to diverse applications. While the primary application is inspection of over-head power lines by helicopter (PLMI) or on the ground (GMI), it is possible to design custom built solutions for many different needs.

The fundamental working principles are common to all applications:

  1. A LiDAR sensor acquires the geometry of the scenario by sweeping surrounding objects with a laser beam that measures distance from the emitter to the object. The beam sweeps a planar circular section centred on the sensor.The measurements taken are represented in a polar reference centred on the LiDAR sensor.
  2. A vide camera to acquire images of texture and context of the scenario.
  3. A vehicle or motorised platform whose motion drives the sensor from one position to the other. In this way, the sequence of planar sweeps in two dimensions fills a three dimension volume.
  4. An auxiliary sensor to measure the displacement of the vehicle or the platform: it could be a GPS receiver for outdoor reconstruction or a sfhat encoder, an odometer or another LiDAR.

One of the most interesting applications of Geometry In Motion GIM] is the production of virtual models of heritage sites. And there are many more applications

Land survey and maintenance of clear ways

It is necessary to monitor the sideways along roads, railways and riversides to detect early any land slides, rock movement, measure the growth of vegetation, etc..

An example of such an application was performed in collaboration with the University of Huelva for ADIF - the Administration for the Railway Infrastructure in Spain, as described in the publication

Prototipo para la Monitorización de la Infraestructura Ferroviaria utilizando Sensores Lidar, Imagen de Video y GPS: Primeros Resultados









High-speed railway inspection in Spain



Computation of irregular volumes

In quarries, landfills and other large sites it is often necessary to determine the volume of the outstanding mass, or, equivalently, the volume that was removed.

On the right there is an illustration of this method to measure the volume of limestone removed form a quarry..

Airborne three-dimension models

The 3D models generated from aircraft are an extension of the 3D models generated from a ground vehicle. Since aircraft move in three dimenstions, the basic model "equation" turns in to:

LiDAR + (GPS+ Inertial Navigatiuon System) = 3D Model

The Inertial Navigation System [INS] yields estimates of orientation (angles) and accelerations along the three motion axes. A video camera can be useful in some applications, in particular if the application requires the integration with airborne photography or airborne survey.

The first example shows quick land survey done in Brasil. Images show how the digital terrain model based on LiDAR data sumperimposes with a GIS model.








Three dimensional model of a section of land with a transmission line and nearby vegetation

The second example was computed automatically from data acquired flying over a forest of eucalyptus, cork oak and pines at speed ranging from 15kt to 40kt (28km/h to 74km/h or 19mph to 49mph).

Scales are shown in meters. The altitude ranges were multiplied by five (x 5) to improve perception of altitude variation above mean sea level. On the animanted model (WMV (575KB) or AVI (668Kb)), altitude is represented in equal proportions to the other dimensions (1:1:1).








Ground altitude and vegetation profile of pines, cork oak and eucalyptus along the Tagus Valley, Portugal

Old memories

The models shown below were the first ones created by Albatroz Engineering in the early days of the company. Together with the LISPOLIS model (the site of the first office in Lisbon), they are the memory of the early solutions, superseded today in quality and features and no loger represent the state of the art of Geometry in Motion [GIM].

The two bridge models below date from May 2006 and were computed automatically from data acquired by car crossing the bridges at typical road velocities (80km/h, 50 mph).






Marechal Carmona Bridge - Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal

3D animated model: GIF [493kb], AVI [470kb]













Vasco da Gama Bridge - Lisbon, Portugal

3D animated model: GIF [439kb], AVI [392kb]











With Albatroz Engineering solutions, it is possible to obtain detailed 3D models in a short notice with a very interesting quality to cost ratio. In case you have a scenario you need to model in 3D, please contact us.