VMX-250 Demo Tour Australia

On the road again! After joining us for our Europe demo tour in April, we now invite you to follow the VMX-250, as it was introduced at the FIG 2010, in Australia. As always, we couldn't resist jumping on the occasion to get some impressive demo data on the spot... 

Arrival in Sydney

The VMX-250 mobile scanning system was shipped to Sydney in order to introduce it to the Australian market. RIEGL distributor and leading Australian provider of surveying equipment CR Kennedy Pty Ltd., received it, full of expectations. John Reddington, CR Kennedy: "Expectations and anticipation of the new system were enormous. We had arranged demonstrations with potential customers months earlier for the rare occasion of having a demo system and a RIEGL Team at hand!“

The schedule was to present the system first at the FIG 2010 (this international congress is hosted by the International Federation of Surveyors), which brings thousands of surveying and spatial professionals together from across the globe, and to organize live demos for the week to follow.

Nikolaus Studnicka, RIEGL Manager International Sales, and responsible for the VMX-250 system, reports from his journey:

Right after arrival we headed for the CR Kennedy head office, in Sydney, to schedule our stay and to mount the VMX-250 that had been shipped by air-freight. It took less than two hours to get the whole system stationed on a Land Rover, and to start calibrations and test drives. After having carried out these tasks without any problems, it was finally time to take a good night's sleep... Long haul flying from Europe to Australia is a rather exhausting trip. Nevertheless, the next morning we felt fit for scanning several famous sights, like the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Downtown Sydney by means of the mobile system mounted on the car. Our goal was to get all data acquisition from the car done that very day, to install everything on a boat the following day, in order to present a combined data set (car/boat) a few days later at the FIG.

First Data Acquisition in Sydney

The next morning, we started to mount the VMX-250 on a diving boat which we had rented at Sydney harbor. As often in spontaneous circumstances, some improvisational skills were necessary. Yet, the whole installation was done in little more than an hour. Scanning the world famous sights from the water, under brilliant sunshine, was quite a spectacular experience! At the same time, it proved the various functionalities or applications of the system.
The following day we settled in our hotel room, not to relax, but to analyze and process loads of data. Again, everything went smooth: the data set consisting of acquisition results from the vehicle and those from the boat fitted perfectly. We could start preparing sample data, and cut a movie to be projected at the
RIEGL FIG booth.

FIG 2010

Why, every surveyor knows what it means to get back from the field to the more sterile ambience of a congress, but we had tried to grasp the ‘on the road feeling’ of the previous days with our movie, and most of all, with our results. Professionals from all over the world had come to get informed about the latest achievements the international market has to offer, and we're proud to state that the VMX-250 system and the brand-new data from the very same location attracted a great deal of interest. RIEGL contributed to the lecture sessions with a presentation entitled, “Advances in Mobile Laser Scanning Data Acquisition.”

Reference Projects

Having left the last day of the trade-show with the feeling that we'd succeeded in giving a strong impression of the capabilities of our scanning systems, we looked forward to the few days we had left for live demonstrations with potential customers -   and, while letting the scanner look at the road enjoy the Australian landscape.

To give you an example of the multiple external factors that add up with perfect scanner operation, for a good result, let's resume one demo scan on a highway in Sydney:
The day of data acquisition, the GNSS conditions, that is, visibility of a sufficient number of navigation satellites above the horizon, proved rather good. We took the testing route during normal traffic at a speed of about 65, 70 km/h. So preconditions were ok. Yet, there was one important challenge: would we be able to attain a vertical precision of 15mm, as asked for?

Data acquisition was realized while driving on the highway in both directions, with both laser scanners operating. The route, the so called trajectory, was provided by the INS-GNSS unit. Additionally, a similar method is known for airborne scanning; we call it, „Scan Data Adjustment“. It was applied in order to align the parameters of both separate scan drives in opposite directions.

We used terrestrial control points previously measured to evaluate the quality of our geo-referenced data set, which we had prepared in RiProcess, the processing software. A comparison, taking into account the point clouds of all four superposed scans, finally showed an astonishing precision of 8mm. Job (well) done!


All in all, the journey to Sydney, and across a small part of its net of urban roads, and the Australian landscape, can be considered a real success. Visitors of the FIG 2010 and passengers on the demo tours could see the flexibility, easy handling and the precision of the instruments. Short time after the trade show in Sydney, RIEGL received the first definite VMX-250 order by an Australian Company - Sinclair Knight Merz (www.skmconsulting.com), one of Australia's largest Engineering and Surveying consultants.

SKM’s Survey Practice Leader, Leigh Finlay said, this new scanner makes survey work much safer, smarter and quicker.  He also said, “In the past, the survey of a particular piece of road or rail line took a great deal of time and involved significant safety risks.”

“This mobile laser scanner enables our teams to travel a route a few times, gather data and safely return to our offices to convert the point cloud data into a form that can be used by our engineers for our clients.”
To read more about technical details, please visit the Mobile Scanning product page - and don't forget to have a look at our VMX-250 demo videos!