What Is Point Cloud Processing and Why Is It Important?
LiDAR is a remote sensing method used by government bodies and private organisations to measure the surface of the earth — and that of any object on it. LiDAR technology directs a pulsed laser light at the target object and with the help of a remote sensor, and measures the total reflected pulses. The time taken by these pulses to appear on the radar and the fluctuation in the return wavelengths are used to create a digital 3D representation of the object.
The large sets of data that researchers collect to create 3D images of the target object are called point clouds. The process of collecting, measuring and using these point clouds to design 3D CAD models of the target object or surface is called point cloud processing — and TopoDOT offers a premium CAD application to help execute this.
How Does Point Cloud Processing Work?
Usually, LiDAR systems are equipped with sensors, lasers, scanners, GPS, photodetectors and receiver electronics, which throw out up to 500,000 pulses every second. Each of these components helps researchers in the point cloud collection process.
Let’s take road surveying as an example. Due to the constant movement of vehicles, road surveying usually takes a lot of time and disrupts transport. LiDAR technology, however, doesn’t need to stop the traffic.
Instead, the LiDAR system starts point cloud processing from the back of a moving vehicle, from which it transmits laser pulses onto the road surface. These pulses then bounce back to the system. Technicians/ Surveyors analyse the total time taken by the pulses to return and the fluctuations in their wavelengths to create a digital 3D representation of the surface on a topographic map. This digital model is completed with the help of a 3D scanner and is composed of point clouds showing the surface’s length and size, and any objects on it.
As soon as they have collected the point clouds, CAD Technicians / Surveyors move to the point cloud registration process. For this, they use software to import point cloud data from the 3D scanner. The time taken in the import process may vary due to the size of the scan and the software used in the process. Once the registration process is complete, the point clouds are imported into a CAD application to create 3D models of the surface.
Point cloud processing can be a lengthy task. To ensure that you get accurate results quickly, you need to use software designed specifically for this task, such as TopoDOT’s CAD software.
TopoDOT’s software comes complete with full audio, video and text instructions for every stage of the point cloud process. To discover first hand how it can make a difference to your work-flow process, taking quality to new heights and improving your bottom line, why not give it a try?