AN EFFICIENT, HIERARCHICAL VIEWPOINT PLANNING STRATEGY FOR TERRESTRIAL LASER SCANNER NETWORKS
Terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) techniques have been widely adopted in a variety of applications. However, unlike in geodesy or photogrammetry, insufficient attention has been paid to the optimal TLS network design. It is valuable to develop a complete design system that can automatically provide an optimal plan, especially for high-accuracy, large-volume scanning networks. To achieve this goal, one should look at the “optimality” of the solution as well as the computational complexity in reaching it. In this paper, a hierarchical TLS viewpoint planning strategy is developed to solve the optimal scanner placement problems. If one targeted object to be scanned is simplified as discretized wall segments, any possible viewpoint can be evaluated by a score table representing its visible segments under certain scanning geometry constraints. Thus, the design goal is to find a minimum number of viewpoints that achieves complete coverage of all wall segments. The efficiency is improved by densifying viewpoints hierarchically, instead of a “brute force” search within the entire workspace. The experiment environments in this paper were simulated from two buildings located on University of Calgary campus. Compared with the “brute force” strategy in terms of the quality of the solutions and the runtime, it is shown that the proposed strategy can provide a scanning network with a compatible quality but with more than a 70 % time saving.