A team at theFraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM (Freiburg, Germany) has developed the first laser scanner to be approved by the Federal Highway Research Institute for measuring the evenness of roads.
The shoe-box sized scanner, which is mounted on vehicle at a height of three meters, can scan any road up to four meters wide. To do so, an octagonal mirror rotating inside the scanner steers the laser beam across the road perpendicular to the direction the vehicle is travelling in.
The light from the laser is reflected from the asphalt back to the scanner, where it is detected by a sensor. The distance between the scanner and the surface of the road can be inferred from how long it takes the laser light to travel back, and measurements are accurate to between 0.15 and 0.3 millimeters.
The orientation and position of the vehicle is accomplished using a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and an inertial measurement system. IPM's so-called Pavement Profile Scanner (PPS) has already passed initial field tests.In co-operation with road surveyors from Lehmann + Partner, the IPM researchers have used it to scan a total of 15,000 kilometers of highway and other major roads across Germany since last summer.
Further details can be found here.
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