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Typical Scanning Projects

The Uses for 3D Scanning Are Many
New developments in Surveying, Survey Grade GPS and 3D Scanning Technology make some projects which looked like nothing but a headache a few years ago not only possible, but highly efficient. The following case studies help demonstrate the various uses for scanning.

Case Study: Fuel Farm – Cottage Grove, Oregon
This survey involved a 3D high definition survey of a small petroleum fuel farm to determine the as built conditions. The data can be modeled into a 3D piping CAD file in the event of an anticipated re-design. Accurate 2D as-built paper drawings can be submitted to regulatory agencies. Spill containment structures can be measured within the 3D scan with the piping and tank structure volumes accurately deducted to provide true spill capacity measurements.

Case Study: George Olson Wreck – Coos Bay, Oregon
D. Wellman Surveying George Olson WreckThis 3D laser high definition survey of a 1940’s era shipwreck off the Oregon Coast in Coos Bay was performed to capture the exposed remains of a recently uncovered wreck. Once exposed to the air the wooden structure is deteriorating rapidly. The data will be archived to preserve the historical archeological record. Potential uses might include the evaluation of the data to compare against original shipyard design drawings. The project was geo-referenced with survey grade GPS. In the event the wreck is again covered by the sand dunes pinpoint excavation can be performed with centimeter accuracy.

Case Study: Orongo – Easter Island

D. Wellman Surveying Orongo Easter IslandD. Wellman Surveying Orongo Easter Island

Irreplaceable rock art precariously close to the cliff edge was 3D scanned to digitally capture the cultural resource in the tragic event it fell off the cliff. This particular rock art collection is treasured around the world. Comprehensive 3D data is collected without any manipulation, interaction, degradation or touching of the artwork. The collected data is now archived and could later be used to create laboratory or academic replicas. In the meantime Park authorities contemplate the fate of the artwork and how best to preserve this important heritage resource.

Case Study: Processing Plant – Springfield, Oregon
D. Wellman Surveying Processing PlantIn this study three conveyor belt systems, a remote processing tank, and an inaccessible and very hot (800 degree) 60 inch diameter flue vent and blower system was to be re-designed. Conventional survey control was tied together with the scan cloud data to provide a comprehensive as built condition survey for the project. The base line control stationing for the plant was the southerly column line of the main building. Once the columns were scanned each was modeled to obtain the true center and therefore a mathematical baseline orientation of the entire plant. D. Wellman Surveying Processing PlantOther machine centers and structural members could now be coordinated with the original plant as-built drawing set. Machine, blower and vent structure locations and centerlines were calculated from 3D models created from the 3D scan cloud data for the proposed re-design.









Case Study: TV Tower – McCall, Idaho

D. Wellman Surveying TV TowerThis tower was “hot”. Without turning “off” the high energy antennas the goal was to measure the multiple antenna heights and azimuths for the entire height of the tower. Tower climbers were not allowed to access the structure. A GPS baseline was first established for antenna azimuth calculations. The 3D scan cloud was coordinated with that azimuth baseline to allow antenna orientation calculations from scan data point coordinate values. Antenna heights were also computed directly from the scan cloud points as compared to the concrete tower base. Tower climbers or safety issues were avoided without “shut down”.

D. Wellman Surveying TV Tower


Case Study: Conveyor Tunnel – Baker, Oregon
D. Wellman Surveying Conveyor TunnelThis study included the 3D scan of two 350 foot long crushed rock conveyor tunnels at a concrete plant. One tunnel had been observed to be settling with a significant loss of conveyor alignment. The survey was performed to comprehensively map the deflection in the tunnel structure in relation to the conveyor system. A similar survey of an identical tunnel was performed as an undisturbed control model of a non-failed structure. Traditional alignment and cross-section data extracted from the 3D scan cloud was presented to the client for additional engineering analysis. Additional client requests for cross-section and machine location data could be prepared without returning to the site for costly additional data collection efforts.






Case Study: Bluff and Highway Failure – Newport, Oregon
D. Wellman Surveying Bluff and Highway FailurePortions of Highway 101, just north of Newport, has been the location of recurrent stability failures for a number of years. This study of the beach bluff supporting the highway structure was performed in an effort to provide a baseline of information with which to monitor erosion and mass movement rates. The 3D scan covered nearly 1400’ of bluff/beach interface. The 3D scan cloud was geo-referenced with GPS and conventional survey techniques. Comparative bi-annual scans of the bluff face will provide the geologists sufficient data to perfect a remedial plan to stabilize the highway structure.







Case Study: Chambers Railroad Bridge – Cottage Grove, Oregon
The Chambers Covered Bridge in Cottage Grove, Oregon was one of the last known covered logging railroad bridges west of the Mississippi River. It was in such a state of disrepair in 2009 that the City of Cottage Grove had gated the ends of the bridge from the public to prohibit entrance onto the structure. The goal of this survey was to capture a high intensity 3D survey of the structure prior to the disassembly and removal from the site.

The structure was so fragile that it was felt the disassembly process would have the entire bridge collapsing into the river. The bridge would be truly lost. The backup "insurance plan" was to perform the survey using 3D laser scanning techniques to "capture" the structural members such that the bridge could be accurately replicated if indeed the bridge went for a swim in the river. As it turned out the disassembly went well and the bridge components reside peacefully in a nearby industrial lot ready for the reconstruction efforts.

The 3D scan data has been successfully used for the creation of a miniature desktop replica as well as demonstrations of the 3D survey to model railroad clubs and archaeological groups interested in the structure that once occupied the site. Future use of the dimensional characteristics of the data contained in the scan may prove to be useful when the reconstruction process begins.