Which characteristics play a definitive role in ensuring optimal hardware/software combinations in the field of tunnel construction?
OSch: Tunnel construction demands high standards when it comes to the robustness of the hardware used and requires ease of operation in relation to the software/hardware. Systems are often operated by miners, meaning the software must automatically carry out a number of process steps and prevent incorrect operation to the greatest extent possible.
What are the primary challenges associated with scanning a tunnel using a laser scanner?
OSch: As a result of the interruption to tunnelling, which is required during scanning, a surveyor is often seen as a hindrance to the tunnelling process. For this reason, the time frame during which a scan can be carried out during tunnelling is very limited. Added to this are the atmospheric conditions within the tunnel, which are often very hot or very cold, leading to a high level of humidity. In January, for example, while taking measurements with the FARO Focus3D in the Gotthard Base Tunnel, we measured a temperate of 38°C and a humidity level of 100%.
How does the software process the data delivered to it from a laser scanner?
OSch: Immediately after the scan, the data is saved in an external notebook and can be processed directly. An initial analysis of the data can therefore be performed in the tunnel. This direct analysis enables quick action to be taken, thereby avoiding the costs associated with taking temporary safety measures.
What sort of challenges are expected in tunnel construction in the future?
OSch: Time and cost pressures related to infrastructure projects pose a huge challenge for the resources and tools, which optimise tunnel construction processes and operations. In addition to the economic aspects, great emphasis is placed on safety in modern-day tunnelling. Laser scanning technology helps to make tunnel construction safer, thanks to the quick and precise data analysis it provides.
Why did you decide to collaborate with FARO?
OSch: Amberg Technologies’ central area of operation is the processing and refinement of scan data for use in the tunnel and rail sectors. In addition to the other laser scanner manufacturers already supported, it is extremely important to us that we also support products from FARO, the world’s leading laser scanner manufacturer.