MEMS Modernization

In 2010, LiDAR USA introduced the economical ScanLook multi-purpose mobile mapping and scanning solution with a small footprint, ideal for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and survey grade static and mobile laser mapping. The ScanLook system works with a variety of lasers, Inertial Measurement Units (IMU), cameras and scanners, all run from a wireless browser. For direct georeferencing, the system incorporates different grades of NovAtel’s GNSS+INS Synchronous Position, Attitude and Navigation (SPAN®) products including IGM-ADIS, IGM-STIM and ISA100c IMUs.

Jeff explains, “We selected the SPAN series of GPS/IMU solutions because the design is modular, provides competitive performance and great software for a good price and size.”

He adds, “The problem with our first generation solution (even though it was much smaller than its competitors) was that 50 lbs was still a lot of weight to lug around.” Excluding the battery, the first generation ScanLook system weighs about 50 pounds and measures 8˝ x 8˝ x 26˝ at a price less than many systems with similar capabilities and impressive flexibility. ScanLook can be mounted on cars, trucks, ATVs, rail, boats, gyroplanes, helicopters, UAVs, backpacks, poles, carts, etc.

Soon after the introduction of ScanLook, new, more powerful Micro Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) technology began to move into the market. Daniel recalls, “When the MEMS systems first came out (particularly the SPAN-IGM-S1), many of our competitors doubted theabilities of the unit—but we tested many ofthem and cost/performance/size ratios wereundeniable. For survey work, we would needto correct the data anyway so positional errorof +/- 10 cm or +/-15 cm during a GNSS outageof 30 seconds is not a problem.”

The Fagerman’s tested a range of solutions from various manufacturers including NovAtel’s UIMU-LCI and-IMU-FSAS

IMUs and the SPAN-IGM-S1 system along with some lower end MEMS IMUs mounted on the same platform.