Laser Scanning Overview

About Laser Scanning

Laser Scanner Overview

Laser imaging technology is a tremendously efficient data-collection tool that produces heightened accuracy, enhanced worker and public safety, and cost savings for a wide variety of survey, design, and construction projects.

Our three dimensional laser scanners are devices used both indoors and outdoors to collect precise data about objects within its view. The scanner emits laser light pulses across a wide field of view to detect detailed spatial location and shape of objects. By timing the round-trip of each light pulse, the laser scanning maps distance to each surface. Data is collected in a 360-degree horizontal and 270-degree to 310-degree vertical field of view at a rate of up to 50,000 data points per second, in comparison to only hundreds of data points collected by traditional survey methods.

Detailed and Precise Portrayal of Existing Conditions

Laser scanners are capable of capturing the shapes and locations of objects in complete darkness and in complicated environments as diverse as mechanical rooms, bridges and highways, and even irregular structures and terrains such as those resulting from accidents or natural disasters. This enables the collection and examination of precise data sets more quickly and accurately than can be accomplished with traditional survey tools.

With several simultaneous laser scan set-ups in a given environment, a complete 3-D model of existing conditions can be created quickly which permits the rapid examination of scene viewpoints from any angle. This capability is invaluable when precise measurements of building features, such as hard-to-access windows or intricate façade features, are needed. Laser scanner 3-D models can be used to create civil or architectural drawings or computer models for a host of design purposes. Scanned data can be entered into modeling software to accomplish such tasks as calculating precise volumes, modeling HVAC and plumbing, and providing record drawing information.

Enhanced Worker and Public Safety

Laser scanning also reduces the exposure of field workers to hazardous conditions that are sometimes associated with traditional survey methods. Survey workers can avoid using scaffolding and other time-consuming methods to access difficult sites. When laser scanning is used for highway and other outdoor construction projects, survey workers do not need prolonged access to as many job site locations. This reduces the need for traffic management during survey work since data is collected faster and with fewer safety measures needed to protect workers and the traveling public.

Similarly, indoor laser surveying is less disruptive to a building’s workforce than traditional methods. Work interruption and facility downtime to accommodate surveying efforts can be virtually eliminated. Normal building use can be maintained with no need for building closures.

Project Cost Savings

In addition to being able to reduce field data collection time, laser scanning produces extremely detailed and precise images of existing scenes. Cost savings can often result from fewer site visits during a project’s design phases.

Delta’s data management processes allow laser scanner data sets to be easily used in conjunction with AutoCAD, MicroStation, and Revit. This cross discipline coordination of effort between field data collection and design software and drafting work results in significant technical time savings that lead directly to lower costs when large surveying efforts are required.

Delta’s High-Definition, 3-D Laser Scanning Capabilities

Offering time and cost savings for many survey, design, and construction projects
Ideal Applications
  • Highway and road surveys
  • Structural surveys, such as bridges and buildings
  • Topographic surveys
  • ALTA title surveys
  • Commercial surveys
  • As-built documentation
  • Mechanical room imaging
  • Documentation of architectural details
  • Existing site conditions documentation at multiple project stages
  • Plumbing configurations
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Natural disaster imaging
  • Gravel bed imaging
  • Insurance documentation
  • Airport runway surveys
Laser Scanning Tool Highlights
  • Leica ScanStation C10 Combination Scanner
  • Field of view: 360 degrees horizontal, 270-310 degrees vertical
  • Range: 300 ft. radius from centerline of scanner
  • Scan rate: 50,000 data points per second
  • Accuracy: as little as 1 millimeter
  • Each point has X, Y, and Z coordinates
  • Captures overhead, vertical, and horizontal geometry
  • Able to overlay survey points with photographic images. Camera uses  the same rotating prism as the laser



For additional information on Delta’s Laser Scanning, please contact:
Bruce W. Snyder, PLS
Director of Survey and Mapping Services