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UVM Research Team Awarded NSF Grant
Team includes Jeff Frolik, Austin Troy, Mandar Dewoolkar, Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne, Eric Hernandez, and more
- By Amanda Rae Hanaway-Corrente
A team of UVM researchers has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant to acquire a 3D terrestrial laser scanner for the temporal-morphological study of manmade and natural structures. The following excerpt from the grant proposal explains the equipment and its uses in detail:
As imaging technologies have developed, scientist and engineers have leveraged these advances to “remotely sense” the environments in which we live to complement and/or replace in situ measurements of the same. Beginning perhaps with landscape photography, remote sensing has evolved to include sonar, radar, radiometry and most recently LiDAR (light detection and ranging). Due to its defense origins, high cost and size, LiDAR systems were initially implemented for airborne terrestrial mapping. The advent of lower-cost and more compact designs has enabled ground-based LiDAR imaging systems such as the instrument of interest in this MRI proposal. These systems rapidly produce 3D digital datasets of environments, be they natural or built. These datasets can then be integrated with other data on the environment. For example, a LiDAR scan can be added as a GIS layer along with maps, photography, census data, etc. to better understand land use changes.
Example uses of ground-based LiDAR (also referred to as 3D terrestrial laser scanning) for the study of built and natural environments include surveying of manmade structures (historical structures can be imaged for both cataloging and preservation purposes). In regards to natural environments, scans over time quantify structural changes due to natural disasters or restoration efforts.
In short, ground-based LiDAR enables researchers from numerous disciplines to produces large 4D datasets (3D-spatial + 1D-temporal) that can be utilized to assess/model and/or to complement existing field based efforts on their researched environments. Furthermore, these datasets in themselves have research value for computational scientists developing feature extraction and sampling techniques.
It is with recognition of the vast utility of 3D terrestrial laser scanning that this MRI submittal proposes to acquire such an instrument for the University of Vermont (UVM). The effort at UVM with the new 3D terrestrial laser scanner willmeet three objectives.
- Develop new expertise in our faculty and student researchers
- Provide data to connect field-based measurements and complex systems modeling efforts
- Enable new research collaborations among our highly interdisciplinary team