New mobile laser mapping system captures environment with unrivalled resolution and coverage

21st May 2008 - Infoterra Ltd, a leader in the provision of geospatial products and services, has launched Rapid Surveyor, a new mobile laser mapping system. Infoterra has invested in the next-generation of laser technology, specifically designed for mobile use, to enable the capture of precise information of the built/natural environment at unrivalled resolution and coverage. For example, Rapid Surveyor can identify and accurately position assets, such as poles and road drainage features, for planning and infrastructure management.

Rapid Surveyor captures an unprecedented level of high quality data with a speed of capture far faster than traditional terrestrial-based surveys. Due to each survey taking less time, but delivering an extremely accurate and dense dataset, the Rapid Surveyor solution is highly cost-effective for a wide range of applications.

Rapid Surveyor makes up to 200,000 measurements per second, allowing highly detailed 3D information to be captured from a moving vehicle. Its unique multi-directional design provides a complete 360 degree field-of-view to maximise data coverage within a 100m radius. This capacity enables new levels of detail and precision to produce realistic street-level visualisations. In addition, up to 600 colour images are simultaneously collected per minute by two cameras. As a result, all objects are captured in their precise locations - including those not shown on national mapping such as street furniture - effectively mapping the truly immersive 3D built environment.

Owing to the position of the sensors on this new mobile system - at an angle to the vehicle's motion and inclined off vertical - the lasers cross each other's field-of-view. Therefore, when driving forward an object is imaged twice by the sensors but not at the same time, thereby minimising shadows and occlusions. Also the front of objects, such as bridges and road signs, are captured.

"The launch of our new Rapid Surveyor system marks the first time that engineering-grade (centimetre) accuracy has been available from a moving vehicle. We have worked closely with Optech to develop these new sensors, which have been designed specifically for mobile use," commented Dr Anthony Denniss, Technical Director for Infoterra Ltd. "Rapid Surveyor provides a very cost-effective, fast mobile mapping system. The solution can enable major infrastructure mapping projects which typically would have previously taken months, to be achieved in a matter of days."

Rapid Surveyor is a fully optimised mobile laser mapping solution mounted on a 4WD vehicle and features two of Optech's new Lynx Mobile Mapper lidar sensors, each operating at 100,000 measurements per second, developed specifically for mobile data capture applications. In addition it offers two cameras, for capturing photography simultaneously. Rapid Surveyor is capable of capturing data at a range of speeds from walking speed to 50 mph depending on the level of accuracy required.

"Adding Rapid Surveyor to our solutions portfolio extends Infoterra's world digitalisation capabilities, and again shows the company continuing its strategic commitment to investing in best-of-breed data capture solutions," he added. "In the last year we have commissioned two new airborne sensors, an UltraCamX large format digital camera from Microsoft Vexcel and the latest Gemini lidar scanner from Optech (Optech Inc.of Canada). We are now delighted that the addition of Rapid Surveyor will enhance our lidar capability even further. We believe this commitment to using the best data acquisition solutions gives us a real market differentiator, and again confirms Infoterra as the de facto choice for the growing number of organisations who rely on the best quality geospatial data."

About Infoterra Ltd
Infoterra Ltd is a leading provider of geographic information products and services. Its portfolio of geographic information solutions includes airborne and satellite data acquisition, geo-information creation, database management and outsourced hosting. Infoterra provides geospatial knowledge to companies worldwide to help them make informed decisions. The company has major customers in utilities, insurance, engineering, agriculture, defence and oil, gas & mineral exploration.

Infoterra Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS Astrium, Europe's leading space systems and services specialist. Infoterra Ltd is part of the Infoterra Group, which also comprises companies in France, Germany, Hungary and Spain.

For more information contact
Sarah Haslam, Infoterra Ltd, +44 (0)116 273 2300,
Cheryl Billson, PR for Infoterra, +44 (0)7791 720460,

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