Loughborough, United Kingdom, May 30, 2013—Detailed terrestrial LIDAR surveys, undertaken by the Sterling Power Group of a number of substations in the UK, have sparked an investigation into how the data can be used to cut costs and increase safety. Sterling Geo, part of the Sterling Power Group, is using geospatial software to see how this data, collected using a Leica C-10 scanner, can be turned into 3D digital elevation models (DEMs).
Phil Cooper, Director of Sterling Geo said: “Sterling Geo is viewing the LIDAR data in Intergraph’s ERDAS IMAGINE to investigate, measure and merge the 3D point cloud datasets. This data can then be progressed into Intergraph’s ERDAS APOLLO to disseminate and manage the large raster datasets for simple viewing through a web client. The fast loading speeds and ability to create pyramid layers of the imagery allows rapid handling of detailed and accurate measurement of the data.”
“Previous versions of Intergraph’s ERDAS IMAGINE could not handle the large volumes of data collected by LIDAR scanning. Now as big data gets bigger, Intergraph’s ERDAS IMAGINE is moving with the tide. This is indicative of what we are seeing across the geo-software industry.”
With a growing emphasis on safety and cost efficiency, the ability to work with 3D point clouds has become an important tool to accurately plan and design changes in substations. Because the entire substation is mapped accurately and rapidly, the model can be used in an office environment to make precise plans for changes and redesign work with minimal site visits and reduced costs.
The density and volume of points mean it is not unusual for a small survey to result in the production of several gigabytes worth of data. One small survey undertaken by Sterling Power’s engineers for Scottish and Southern Energy for a 30m X 30m compound collected 1.2 GB of data whilst another for Western Power Distribution of a 100m X 100m compound collected over 20 GB of data. Intergraph ERDAS IMAGINE’s ability to quickly ingest and handle the large datasets, offers the user a solid platform from which to start working with and handling the latest sensor datasets.