2020 Virtual Content - 2021 Dates Coming Soon

Extreme Project Environments

Mar 25 2020
9:00 am - 10:00 am
202 AB

Extreme Project Environments

Track Names: EXTREME PROJECT ENVIRONMENTS, Wednesday 9:00 - 10:00
Session Date: Mar 25 2020 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Application and processing of high-resolution UAV-deployed Lidar in Arctic watersheds with dense, multi-layer vegetation

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
The Department of Energy’s Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment-Arctic is developing improved models of Arctic permafrost landscape evolution. The Los Alamos National Laboratory, LANL, is deploying a Routescene LidarPod to collect very high resolution (>400 points per square meter) laser altimetry data to characterize topography and vegetation patterns and structure in fine detail. These data are being used to understand how topographic structure across a range of scales (from centimeters to kilometers) interact with different vegetation types to control the distribution of soil moisture, snow depth, permafrost temperature and biogeochemistry in Arctic landscapes. A major challenge in the development of bare-earth and vegetation models from Lidar data collected in our watersheds is the extremely dense, multi-layered, short-statured vegetation comprised of moss, grass, forbes, prostrate shrubs and upright shrubs that obscure finer patterns of ground surface topography. Routescene technologists and LANL scientists jointly developed and applied vegetation filtering methods tailored to this unique tundra environment to create ground surface and vegetation models. We will present the results of our processing and analysis which enabled the development of a high-resolution snow depth map for our region, as well as a new snow redistribution model that accounts for the interactions between snow drifts, shrub patch configuration, and multi-scale topographic features.


Cathy Wilson

Los Alamos National Laboratory

High Density Oblique Aerial LiDAR Collection and Processing of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM
This presentation will cover the unique aspects, challenges, and results of a helicopter LiDAR and imaging project intended to collect and model the entire above ground portion of the 800 mile long Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. The purpose of this project was to use oblique aerial LiDAR to measure the stick up heights of the 78,000+ vertical support members (VSMs). The focus of this project was to improve measurement consistency, reliability, and efficiency as compared to the historical line walk method. High value was also intended for this dataset to be a baseline for future aerial LiDAR surveys to be compared to. Merrick & Company developed a multi-sensor suite design that allowed for the collection of data to meet the challenging requirements of ultra-dense and accurate LiDAR for 3D modeling and top-of-VSM determination. The sensors in this system were mounted in very specific oblique orientations to collect data similar to a mobile LiDAR system but safely and more efficiently from an airborne helicopter platform. A custom multi-sensor helicopter sensor pod was designed and built by Merrick. These oblique sensor collection angles were critical to scanning up the back sides of the VSMs rather than simply collecting points from above (straight down) where heat radiators would occlude the collection of the tops of the VSMs. This specialized aerial mapping system consists of the following sensors: an airborne LiDAR, a high frame rate oblique camera, and a medium format wide angle, oblique camera. The presentation topics will cover the 1) project requirements, 2) custom airborne sensor suite design, construction, and installation into a helicopter, 3) airborne collection, 4) post processing of data, and 5) data analysis.


Matt Bethel

Merrick & Company

Facing Extreme Project Challenges – The Prince of Wales Lidar Initiative

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
In the spring of 2017 Quantum Spatial, under contract with the USGS, began a two-phase lidar acquisition project for Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. The island is the fourth largest in The United States with a land area larger than the State of Delaware. Prince of Wales Island is also home to a diverse landscape that includes fjords, steep mountain slopes, and dense forest. Tongass National Forest, the largest in the US, covers most of the island. The island is part of the Pacific temperate rain forest ecoregion, which combined with the challenging terrain and vegetation cover made acquiring lidar over the area very challenging. In order to successfully capture as much of the important ground detail as possible, Quantum Spatial employed specialized flight planning along with the latest in lidar sensor technology to maximize ground returns and model the forest structure. Localized ground filtering models were developed to ensure that best possible bare earth representation was achieved across the varying landscapes of the island. These data are valuable in a variety of use cases, including public safety, protecting natural resources, identifying geohazards, and land use planning.


Joel Burroughs

Quantum Spatial

Q&A and panel discussions with session presenters

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM
There will be a 15 minute Q&A /panel discussion with the presenters of the Extreme Project Environments session. Carla Lauter, Editor for Geo Week News will Moderate the session and panel discussion.


Carla Lauter

Diversified Communications


Geo Week


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