How Leica BLK360 scanner delivers precise results in adverse scanning conditions?

How Leica BLK360 scanner delivers precise results in adverse scanning conditions?


Building and managing infrastructure is a complex and challenging task for all the parties concerned. Given the geographical span and nature of these projects, carrying out improvements to the existing infrastructure and constructing new one within the stipulated budget and time-frame while ensuring workers’ safety is a no mean task. These projects are typically characterized by cost over-runs and minimizing costs holds a key to the successful completion of these projects. Scanning has been a blessing for all the stakeholders in the AEC industry. Point cloud data generated by high-definition laser scanners capture as-built conditions precisely and with lesser efforts. Tesla Outsourcing Services has been working on Scan to BIM projects for several countries wherein the clients send us the point cloud data and we generate a BIM model for further processing. One of our clients used Leica BLK360 to capture a 100 km road network which had several lanes and bridges across the span. The client was responsible for maintaining and expanding the network. This blog shows how the scanner enabled the company to overcome the challenges posed by the adverse scanning conditions and complex project.

Project Brief

Our client had bagged a project of building, operating, and improving a 100 km crucial road network that consisted of several lanes, ancillary structures, and bridges. There were close to 70 bridges and several ancillary structures in the network. The detailed scope of the project was to evaluate the existing network and carry out repair works or erecting new structure wherever deemed fit. Once the network is upgraded, the client was also responsible to maintain the infrastructure. This required several existing condition details such as identifying exact areas with exposed reinforcement and concrete delamination, etc. It was a challenging task as the existing data was in the form of hand drawings that dated back to the 70s. Moreover, these drawings were not updated thereafter and hence, did not reflect the current conditions. To capture this, it was decided to use modern day scanning technology.

Complexity and Adversity of managing road infrastructure

Closing down the road for scanning was not possible as road closure was a costly affair that also involved a lot of efforts in terms of planning and scheduling. To put this in perspective, sample this: it would cost close to $5500 to arrange for a complete road closure that was required for scanning a single bridge. With approx. 70 bridges in the network, the cost adds up considerably.  Hence, it was decided to carry out the survey while the network was fully functional.

Scanning the infrastructure with the roads fully functional is a very adverse and risky situation. Deploying a team of surveyors in the middle of the road to capture the minute details of the underside of the bridges puts them at a very high risk. The client was on a look-out for a scanner that can offset this adverse scanning condition. They eventually zeroed on Leica BLK360. It is the latest technology to capture reality and is the smallest and lightest scanner available. It can be safely parked behind the safety barrier or on the hard shoulder to capture the difficult areas (such as the underside of the bridges) and creating a detailed 3600 image and precise point clouds within a couple of minutes.

Employing Leica BLK360

Leica BLK360 is an extremely portable and user-friendly device that can be operated with a single push of a button. It can be operated by a single user and does not require a team to carry out the survey. The client created full-colour panoramic images overlaid on a precise point cloud data of all the components of the infrastructure network. By employing Autodesk ReCap Pro mobile-device app to stream point cloud data and images to an iPad, they created RCP files for further processing and creating meaningful deliverables. These RCP files were then provided to Tesla for Point Cloud to BIM Services conversion. The BIM model generated was eventually used in upgrading and maintaining the network.

Written By:
Bhagwati Pathak
Bhagwati Pathak is an Executive Director at Tesla Outsourcing Services. Technical Project Management, BIM, Client Management, and Leadership are her forte. With an expertise in BIM and a flair for writing, her articles provide a direction to contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, and architects in employing the right methodology for an Architectural, Structural, or MEP CAD / BIM project.

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