FARO Technologies, Inc., recently released the Freestyle 2 Handheld Scanner for Construction. This fast, portable, and targeted 3D data capture device can scan even the tightest spaces more easily than ever. For the construction industry, accurate dimensions and locations are needed when coordinating with scope done earlier in the project, such as underground stub-ups, water utility tiesins or duct riser penetrations, to ease the handoff between contractors. The new Freestyle 2 addresses these and other common challenges. www.faro.com
NASA will design a new set of Earthfocused missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes. With the Earth System Observatory, each satellite will be uniquely designed to complement the others, working in tandem to create a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.
The observatory follows recommendations from the 2017 Earth Science Decadal Survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which lays out ambitious but critically necessary research and observation guidance.
Areas of focus for the observatory include:
• Aerosols: Answering the critical question of how aerosols affect the global energy balance, a key source of uncertainty in predicting climate change.
• Cloud, Convection, and Precipitation: Tackling the largest sources of uncertainty in future projections of climate change, air quality forecasting, and prediction of severe weather.
• Mass Change: Providing drought assessment and forecasting, associated planning for water use for agriculture, as well as supporting natural hazard response.
• Surface Biology and Geology: Understanding climate changes that impact food and agriculture, habitation, and natural resources, by answering open questions about the fluxes of carbon, water, nutrients, and energy within and between ecosystems and the atmosphere, the ocean, and the Earth.
• Surface Deformation and Change: Quantifying models of sea-level and landscape change driven by climate change, hazard forecasts, and disaster impact assessments, including dynamics of earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, glaciers, groundwater, and Earth’s interior.
NASA is currently initiating the formulation phase for the observatory. Among its first integrated parts is NASA’s partnership with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which brings together two different kinds of radar systems that can measure changes in Earth’s surface less than a half-inch. This capability will be utilized in one of the observatory’s first missions intended as a pathfinder, called NISAR (NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture radar). This mission will measure some of the planet’s most complex processes such as ice-sheet collapse and natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides. NISAR can assist planners and decision makers with managing both hazards and natural resources in the future. www.nasa.gov/earth
Velodyne Lidar, Inc. has launched its Intelligent Infrastructure Solution designed to solve some of the most challenging and pervasive infrastructure problems. This new solution combines Velodyne’s lidar sensors and Bluecity’s artificial intelligence (AI) software to monitor traffic networks and public spaces. It generates real-time data analytics and predictions, helping to improve traffic and crowd flow efficiency, advance sustainability and protect vulnerable road users. https://velodynelidar.com
Planet and Woolpert have expanded their long-standing partnership to provide highfrequency satellite data and high-resolution aerial data and imagery to federal, state and local governments around the world. The partnership combines the global coverage and efficient data delivery from Planet with the diverse geospatial expertise and client-facing relationships of Woolpert to comprehensively support clients’ mapping needs. www.planet.com
The Norwegian Space Agency successfully launched the NorSat-3 maritime tracking microsatellite built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) in Toronto. It was launched on April 28, 2021, aboard Vega Flight VV 18 from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.
NorSat-3 carries two instrument payloads. The primary device is an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, which acquires messages from civilian maritime vessels to provide information on ship locations and marine traffic. The microsatellite is also equipped with an experimental navigation radar detector developed by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) to augment the AIS receiver. www.utias-sfl.net
Outsight, a 3D Spatial Intelligence solutions provider, has launched the Augmented LiDAR Box (ALB). It’s the first real-time LiDAR Software Engine that allows application developers and integrators to seamlessly use LiDAR data from any hardware supplier. Created as a turnkey solution, the ALB enables leveraging 3D Spatial Intelligence’s unique value while avoiding the complexity of processing 3D data in realtime. Being a LiDAR-agnostic solution, it saves the customer the hassle of assessing and choosing the most appropriate LiDAR for each application. www.outsight.ai