From hardware to software - inside Geosystems’ reality capture solutions

Video feature

Author: Michelle Byrne

Geosystems’ promise is to drive efficiency and increase productivity in the field as well as the office through improvements across the entire workflow including both hardware and software solutions. 

Gregory Walsh, director of R&D for terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) software at Leica Geosystems and Faheem Khan, vice president of business development at Leica Geosystems, shared insights on the current and future state of Geosystems’ reality capture solutions, from hardware to software, at the High Definition Surveying (HDS) User Conference in Melbourne, Australia. 


Revolutionising productivity with sophisticated software


The commitment to offer the highest productivity through automation and highest precision motivated the TLS software and R&D teams to combine existing Geosystems’ technologies. This quest to take productivity to the next level has materialised with the  Leica RTC360 3D reality capture solution.

“What inspires us is to improve customer productivity. We recognise that almost all of our customers need to deliver a fully-registered data set before they can get downstream to wherever they are going to be extracting value out of it. Making solutions as productive as possible was the principle driver for what we wanted to achieve with the development of the RTC360,” said Walsh. 

One of the future innovations being developed by Walsh’s teams is a High-Dynamic Range (HDR) LiDAR with a wide dynamic range where both dark and bright objects are visible. HDR LiDAR is similar to the more familiar concept of photographic HDR in which a camera takes both long and short exposure photographs and combining them accurately measures the received light. 


Boosting productivity in the office with innovative laser scanning


The productivity of the hardware, combined with software solutions, targets increasing the efficiency both in field and in the office by three to five times.  The boost in productivity is achieved by co-designing the software improvements together with the hardware improvements.  In particular, the new hardware, including the BLK360 and the RTC360, collects extra information in the field to automate office tasks.  The software developments are co-designed with the hardware improvements in order to:  

Increase the speed of importing data
Automate registration to the fullest 
Simplify the digesting of information into different CAD systems powered by Leica JetStream technology

“There are several features in the new, full system release addressing every piece of the workflow. Users will find the new file format [LGS the new Leica Geosystems HDS Universal Digital Reality file] very handy, portable and efficient. It packs every single piece of information in a single file and it is available in all of our downstream products, such as TruView and JetStream,” said Khan. 

Likewise, new improvements in the registration workflow have been added. Users can pre-register the captured data with Cyclone FIELD 360 in the field and then process it in the office with Cyclone REGISTER 360. The 3D laser scanning point cloud registration software leverages all of the sensors within the RTC360 to automatically place project data on real-world coordinates and completes registration with little to no manual assistance from the user.

BLK360 users can take advantage of Leica Geosystems’ software solutions and third-party applications, such as ReCap PRO, to acquire reality capture data and deliver projects for the AEC market. 

“The advantage of the ReCap file produced by the BLK360 is that it can be directly consumed by CloudWorx without conversion and easily be transferred into AutoCAD to carry out clash detection, inspection or produce deliverables.

“For conducting reverse engineering of an industrial plant, doing forensic analysis and more, we have software solutions to match those requirements. We are happy that a growing number of customers take advantage of the software offerings that Leica Geosystems deploys,” said Khan. 

Through close collaboration, Leica Geosystems has delivered a watershed solution to the laser scanning industry that brings unparalleled efficiency to the digital reality workflow. This multi-year effort continues to seamlessly integrate Leica Geosystems’ hardware and software offerings. Exciting releases planned for 2019 will ensure customers can fully leverage their sensors in the field and in the office.

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