MLS 2014 success continues

28th January 2014

MNG's industry leading Mobile Laser Scanning services division has continued its strong start to 2014 with two further contracts being awarded to it for projects in Western Australia's wheatbelt and New South Wales' Illawarra region.

Roads and Maritime Services NSW commissioned MNG to undertake MLS and traditional survey of 20.6km worth of the Princes Motorway / Highway from Yallah to Oak Flats, which is approximately 20km south west of Wollongong. Project deliverables to RMS will include a survey model of all surface features within the project area and the MLS data pointcloud tiled into 1km sections.

MNG's MLS services are also being utilised on a Main Roads WA Great Eastern Highway project, which will see MNG conduct MLS, GPS and traditional survey on the 77km portion of the highway between Walgoolan (292km east of Perth) and Southern Cross. Project deliverables include a digital ground survey extending 30m either side of the road centreline.

The Princes Motorway / Highway and Great Eastern Highway MLS project wins came hot on the heels of MNG being awarded another MRWA job in early January, which has seen the company employ MLS and traditional survey techniques along Shepparton and Albany Highways and surrounding roads feeding into the highways between Asquith Street, Burswood and Mills Street, Cannington. The project will see MNG supply MLS services for all major carriageway data collection, data processing and extraction of features using specialist scanning software and traditional RTK GPS survey services on verges and remaining areas to ensure a comprehensive corridor survey over the 6km project site.

Since pioneering the use of customised MLS technology for high-accuracy corridor surveys in 2009, MNG has completed a diverse range of infrastructure corridor MLS survey projects to accuracies exceeding those requested by most Australian states' transport and infrastructure regulatory bodies. These surveys have included several thousand kilometers of rural road survey in numerous Australian states, the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways in Perth, the M5 and M4 Motorways in Sydney and the M1, M3, Centenary and Gateway Motorways in Brisbane. In addition to these road surveys, MNG has completed several thousand kilometers of high accuracy rail MLS surveys across Western Australia and Queensland.

MNG's commitment to MLS innovation and technological advancement has seen it recognised and rewarded within Western Australia and beyond, collecting prestigious awards for their MLS project work on various infrastructure projects. The company's MLS services have collected five Spatial Excellence Awards in the past three years across Western Australia and Queensland, most recently the Highly Commended – Awarded for Technical Excellence honour at the 2013 Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards held in October for its project for Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Queensland.

MNG geospatial staff conducted about 60km of MLS survey on a part of the M1/M3 Motorway from Brisbane CDB to Logan during December 2012 and January 2013, which TMR required for engineering purposes. Once the field data capture was completed, a comprehensive pointcloud detailing road alignments, road assets and furniture, control lines, road crowns, curves and transitions, longitudinal grade and pavement crossfall was supplied to TMR.

MNG's previous Spatial Excellence Award wins have also included two WA Spatial Excellence Awards in 2010 and two more in 2012 for projects conducted in partnership with Main Roads WA.

In the past four years MNG has gained significant experience in MLS data capture and observation methodologies, showcasing its commitment to continuing the evolution of the technology in order to provide clients with the highest quality service. MNG uses a combination of LiDAR processing packages and in-house programs to optimise every stage of data processing from combining and checking data sets, transforming the results to a local map reference and extracting the point and string information required by our clients. In addition, significant advancements have been made with in-house developed scanning software and hardware, resulting in more points being measured and captured during the scanning process and, later, extracted from the data set (Point Cloud) at a higher accuracy and faster rate. Utilising the company's own in-house developed software allows flexibility to provide clients with data that satisfies their specific needs.

The company has also paid particular attention to developing operating practices and methods that allow for increased levels of safety for MLS operators. These include developing targeting systems that eliminate the need for surveyors to work on or near the infrastructure corridor during data collection.

MNG recently doubled its MLS service capacity with the addition of a second mobile scanning unit to its geospatial equipment inventory, placing MNG in the enviable position of being able to conduct simultaneous MLS projects anywhere in Australia.

As Australia's leading innovator of MLS technology and the first Australian company to fully embrace the potential of high-density, high-speed mobile laser scanning technology, MNG now currently houses one of its mobile scanners on the eastern seaboard, with the Perth based scanner being the integral component of the company's first purpose built MLS vehicle – Cirrus.

After initiating MNG's MLS development and capability in 2009, the company catalysed the evolution of MLS technology and its serviceability in 2013 when it unveiled Cirrus. Cirrus incorporates the latest on-the-market MLS technology, an aircraft grade inertial navigation unit and a 5x5MegaPixel camera for capturing digital imagery. All components of the system are controlled through custom MNG developed software to achieve the highest possible accuracy – a process which took the company more than six months to design and construct.

Cirrus allows MLS surveys to be performed more efficiently than earlier model MLS systems, thus reducing the cost and timeliness of performing high accuracy corridor infrastructure and engineering surveys.

Although Cirrus is a dedicated scanning vehicle, MNG's design allows the scanning assembly to be removed from the Cirrus vehicle and shipped around the country to cater to its highly valued clients regardless of their project's location.

Mobile Laser Scanning is an emerging technology that is ideal for surveying various types of infrastructure corridors including road, rail, pipelines and powerlines.