Bluesky airborne laser maps quarry in 3D

Posted by GIS talk On Wednesday, July 16, 2008
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Aerial survey specialist Bluesky has completed a detailed 3D survey of Lee Moor quarry near Plymouth, UK. Commissioned by WBB Minerals, one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial minerals, the survey captured high-resolution aerial photography together with accurate height measurements using a LiDAR distance measurement system. WBB Minerals, who recently acquired the working lease for the site, will use the Bluesky data to identify mineral resources, undertake accurate measurements and analysis at the desktop and manage both the day-to-day and long-term extraction activities at the quarry.

“Our extraction programmes are planned to ensure that maximum benefit is derived from nature’s resources,” said Minerals Surveyor Andrew Allaway. “Using the Bluesky height data and images we have been able to create a photo realistic 3D digital terrain model of the site, giving us accurate information at our fingertips and the confidence to make informed decisions.”

Highly accurate height measurements of the site were captured by using a survey aircraft equipped with a system of lasers (LiDAR). Lasers are beamed to the surface and the time taken for the beam to be bounced back to aircraft mounted receivers is recorded. Then, using the known position of the aircraft, from on-board satellite positioning equipment, the time taken for the return of the laser beam and the known value of the speed of light the distance between the aircraft and ground is calculated. From these height measurements a detailed Digital Terrain Model (DTM) was created, onto which the vertical aerial photography, captured at the same time as the height data, was draped.

“When we acquired the Lee Moor site it had not been surveyed for some time,” continued Andrew Allaway. “To manually survey the entire site would have taken several weeks and had a detrimental effect on several ongoing survey projects at other Devon quarries. Bluesky were able to offer a complete package at a good price giving us a benchmark dataset from which we can identify resources, make accurate measurements and target both our day-to-day and long term operations.”

WBB Minerals, part S.C.R. – Sibelco NV, are one of the largest suppliers of advanced industrial minerals to the world’s ceramics, glass, foundry, construction and sports surface industries.

Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial imaging and remote sensing data collection and processing. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography, 3D landscape/cityscape visualisations, and 3D prints. Bluesky also runs a national mapping centre, providing digital maps, site plans, satellite imagery, aerial photography and ultra-high resolution imagery of cities and towns.

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