Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

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EliotBails
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Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

Post by EliotBails » Tue May 14, 2019 4:29 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm new to this, so please go easy on me!

Currently I carry out laser scans using a FARO Focus Terrestrial scanner. The company I work for has decided to expand into drone surveys. The question has been raised if they are able to convert the drone data into pointcloud data which can be patched together with the terrestrial scanner data. The drone data format is .las, .laz, ply, .xyz.

So basically, my question is this possible? Id assume we would need extra software to do this, can anyone recommend any? How accurate would this be, assuming there would be consistent targets etc.

Many Thanks

brianpgreen
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Re: Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

Post by brianpgreen » Tue May 14, 2019 4:52 pm

Should be no sweat with survey control. We generally combine them in Recap/Civil 3d.

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James Hall
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Re: Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

Post by James Hall » Tue May 14, 2019 6:38 pm

Hello Eliot,

I have done this with Leica laser scanners and drone data. I'd combine and check the data in Cyclone. As said brianpgreen, as long as the same control points are in each data set its no big deal. The noise in drone data is higher then terrestrial scanning. Depending on the how the data is going to be used and the quality of the drone data there are use cases where it would be inappropriate. Drone data is great for stock pile areas, cut fill volumes and ground shots. Where people get them self's in trouble is drawing curbs, sidewalks and walls off of drone data that dose not meet the accuracy standards for there use.

Las and E57 are the file formats we use. The accuracy question has a lot to do with what Drone you are using. Survey grade drones have a 1cm accuracy.
Our laser scanner is accurate to 2mm for modeled surface, raw points are 4 mm distance and 6 mm position. A ground shot dose not need to be really accurate because ground is subject to environmental changes and measurement error. Getting a ground shot with a total station will be vertically different each time do to moisture content and how far the rod sinks into the ground.

If you Terrestrial scan the hard-scape and Drone fly ground you should be ok depending your drone and accuracy standards.
James,

EliotBails
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Re: Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

Post by EliotBails » Wed May 15, 2019 8:52 am

Hi James, Brian,

Thank you for the responses, I will update you on how we get on :like:

Eliot

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Re: Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

Post by VXGrid » Wed May 15, 2019 10:36 am

EliotBails wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:29 pm
Currently I carry out laser scans using a FARO Focus Terrestrial scanner. The company I work for has decided to expand into drone surveys. The question has been raised if they are able to convert the drone data into pointcloud data which can be patched together with the terrestrial scanner data. The drone data format is .las, .laz, ply, .xyz.

So basically, my question is this possible? Id assume we would need extra software to do this, can anyone recommend any? How accurate would this be, assuming there would be consistent targets etc.
Hey Eliot,

the only thing you really need to think about is how to get both point clouds (the one from the Faro scanner and the one from the Drone) into the same coordinate system. You can either get a georeferenced point cloud from the Drone (georeferenced to GPS, ...) and then transform the Faro point cloud to this, or use survey control points, as mentioned by Brian, to transform the Drone point cloud and the Faro point cloud to this local coordinate system. If you see identical points in both data sets you could use one of the data sets as reference system and just transform the other one.

If both are in the same system you can just combine them (import the one, and then the other one, be it in Scene, ReCap or other software solutions, as long as it can read las and lsproj).

Transformation accuracy is depending on your distribution of identical points, and in addition keep the drone point cloud accuracy in mind mentioned by James.


My question would be: What are you going to do with the merged data? Because it can be wise to just have both point clouds in the same coordinate system, but not combining them, due to the differences in accuracy, point density, point information (colour, intensity, normals, ...)

dcacioppo
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Re: Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

Post by dcacioppo » Tue May 21, 2019 8:07 pm

We have been processing the drone data in Pix4D (a little pricey...but they have options) and the Faro data in Scene. We then took both data sets into Cloud Compare (free) and put them together by using control points that were captured in both the data sets (we used home made checkerboards). If you need any kind of accuracy to remain in the merged data, you want to use the terrestrial data as your reference cloud since the drone data will not be as accurate.

Might be a better workflow out there, but this worked for us.

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Re: Patching pointcloud data together Drone- Terrestrial scanner

Post by Kimberly » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:37 am

Hi eliot,

www.stormbee.com -->drone to combine your FARO focus

greetings Kimberly

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