Crossrail tunnels 3D mapping

Hovering Solutions Ltd. has developed a drone (UAV) system aimed to inspect and produce 3D maps of tunnels and other indoor scenarios

The underground inspection aerial vehicle has been successfully tested in the heart of London, under the Canary Wharf area, in one of the tunnels buried under the mega construction project Crossrail.
The flying platform is equipped with lasers and other sensors to allow indoor positioning and avoid collisions with objects and tunnel walls. The computation of the on-board laser information and high definition image data is used to produce richly detailed 3D models, including high definition texture layers and survey grade georeferenced point clouds. Its main applications are:

  • Facilities Management
  • Underground surveys
  • Infrastructure inspection and maintenance
  • Detailed-as-built and hand over reports
  • High definition 3D models generation
  • Project management and quality control
  • Health and Safety assessment and risk reduction

The system provides the following significant benefits:

  • Considerable reduction of on-site (underground) working time
  • Taking in a massive amount of information in a fraction of the time that using traditional data acquisition techniques would involve
  • Real 360º objects scanning due to the drone being able to reach any part of the tunnel from any angle
  • A 6 DoF vehicle allows the inspection of horizontal and vertical scenarios, including unreachable locations
  • Inspection, mapping and survey tasks can be carried out with a single tool

The outcome of the trials has been used to produce Virtual Reality scenarios, thanks to the participation of Clicks&Links in the project consortium. In addition to the high grade immersion, the system is able to provide a virtual toolkit to allow the user to accomplish a complete tunnel inspection, taking accurate measurements and making notes in a virtual environment.

The trial was carried out in collaboration with Dragados and Geocisa UK through the Crossrail programme Innovate18.
All images are copyright protected by © Crossrail Ltd.

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