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Proceedings Paper

Design and implementation of an inexpensive LIDAR scanning system with applications in archaeology
Author(s): Andrew Willis; Yunfeng Sui; William Ringle; Katherina Galor
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the development of a system and associated software capable of capturing 3D LIDAR data from surfaces up to 20m from the sensor. The chief concern of this initial system is to minimize cost which, for this initial system, is approximately $10.5k (USD). Secondary considerations for the system include portability, robustness, and size. The system hardware consists of two motors and a single-point sensor, capable of measuring the range of a single surface point location. The motors redirect the emitted laser along lines nearly equivalent to that specified by a spherical coordinate system generating a spherical range image, r = f ( φ, θ). This article describes the technical aspects of the scanner design which include a bill-of-materials for the scanner components and the mathematical model for the measured 3D point data. The designed system was built in 2007 and has since been used in the field twice: (1) for scanning ruins and underground cisterns within Mayan cities near Merida, Mexico and (2) for scanning the ruins of a Crusader castle at Apollonia-Arsuf, located on the Mediterranean shore near Herzliya, Israel. Using this system in these vastly different environments has provided a number of useful insights or "best practices" on the use of inexpensive LIDAR sensors which are discussed in this paper. We also discuss a measurement model for the generated data and an efficient and easy-to-implement algorithm for polygonizing the measured 3D (x,y, z) data. Specific applications of the developed system to archaeological and anthropological problems are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 January 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7239, Three-Dimensional Imaging Metrology, 723903 (19 January 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.804535
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew Willis, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Yunfeng Sui, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
William Ringle, Davidson College (United States)
Katherina Galor, Brown Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7239:
Three-Dimensional Imaging Metrology
J. Angelo Beraldin; Geraldine S. Cheok; Michael McCarthy; Ulrich Neuschaefer-Rube, Editor(s)

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