A 3D laser scanner is an instrument surveyors use to capture millions of points survey data, whether it be a city scape, industrial factory, mine shaft or anywhere between, in a relatively small time span.
Unlike photogrammetry techniques (e.g. drones), laser scanning is not reliant on external light sources to create a point cloud and is therefore perfect for point cloud capture in low light conditions such as tunnels and at night. A laser scanner’s faster set up and capture time also suits data capture requirements where time is of essence, such as production lines where down time needs to be kept to a minimum to minimise loss in productivity and roadways, where reduction in congestion causing stoppages are important.
Laser Scanning is also considered to be a safety orientated technology due to its remote sensing capability which allows operators to be at distance away from objects which may have been a safety risk if contact was required in traditional surveying techniques. E.g. Coal Stockpiles, Hot/Cold plant and equipment etc.
The point cloud that is captured by the 3D laser scanner can be edited and utilised in software to create 3D cad models. This models can be used be design professionals such as architects and engineers to design extensions and new components in such a fashion which means clashes are minimised and tie-ins to the existing built environment are accurate.