Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! (Built From OEM Parts)

General discussions of measurement techniques and the results of testing of techniques and equipment.

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

User avatar
M.W.Taylor
Site Admin
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:45 am

Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! (Built From OEM Parts)

Post by M.W.Taylor » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:00 pm

Awhile back I met up with Steve Colburn of Laser Technologies Inc. to talk about new equipment ideas. He loaned me one of their new laser sensors, the S200 OEM to play around with and see what I could do with it. The S200 OEM has no exterior casing or buttons. It is just the module and open wire harness for incorporating into other projects. By itself it is rather fragile and vulnerable.

Using the best OEM parts (S200 for instance) I've put together a working multi-feature prototype forestry laser with tablet interface. See attached pictures. It is indeed ugly but it feels comfortable to hold and is very stable with the extra 8" tablet interface attached.

Features:

8" Tablet HMI
flexible MS Excel interface communication software
Remote, wireless operation. Full control over all instrument modes and features. Request data from other components etc. by MavLink protocol.
LiDAR scanning like ability with point to point 3-D mapping at 10hz.

Almost all non-ferrous construction for excellent digital compass stability, accuracy and repeatability. Three conductive points on outside exterior casing discharge possible static electricity inside box that might damage components.

High Accuracy:
accurate to 4cm or better at up 1 mile to non reflective targets such as trees
inclinometer .01 degree pitch, .01 degree roll and .01 degree yaw (+.-) 1% accurate on all 3 axis

Programmable Filter Mode for hitting reflector in cluttered forest.

Long Range - up to 9,800 feet reflective targets such a smooth white wall etc.

Tilt compensation: Can measure tree height from any position or angle

Mechanically linked Laser Module, Accelerometer and Scope to a rigid back-pane prevent movement and recalibration

2" scope offset is corrected with internal pivot adjustment formula for seem-less correction of scope angle offset.

Low power blue-tooth communication of instruments to and from tablet computer

Preloaded Computer Routines:
Three Verticals (formerly Triangle Method)
Parallax Method
Pivot Adjustment
Quad Tet-Mesh Volumizer To Calculate Volume Of Point Cloud Structures (Like Tree Trunk)
MapSmart-like software For Excel For Automated Point cloud acquisition with mouse controlled labeling, re-centering axis, rotation
Automated Point Cloud Alignment to registered colored markers

Rapid Scan. Default is 10 hz but can be programmed to measure at 14hz...14 measurements per second !!!

Higher frequency laser hits moving objects and water unlike other lasers. This is good for tops blowing in wind. Laser locks on !

10 hour battery life on Tablet and 12v Lithium

Automatic GPS based magnetic north declination correct and magnetic field offset software correction
Ublox lea-6H.....super sensitive under canopy. 2.5 meter accuracy

GPS link to real time open source maps and google earth images overlayed on tablet HMI

3DR radio option for 1 mile remote control range

highly accurate built in barometer, temperature, voltage, current and GPS.

This are some of the many features programmed into this unit. You can do all the calculations on the spot. No need to transfer data to another computer for mapping etc.



Not yet included but working on:

A good, sturdy tripod mount with axis of rotation centered around accelerometer.

A sturdy, waterproof aluminum enclosure for the parts and HMI.

Read out display for operation without 8" tablet which weighs 1 lb. The tablet is much nicer to use though. You get all kinds of great features you just can't get in a tiny LED display or MCU software.

Servo Drive Control of laser tilt and yaw from Tablet.
Touch Screen selection of tree top and auto-servo feedback loop to move crosshair to finger selected target on tablet live video feed
auto-prism pole tracking. This will make it possible to use survey rod and computer by one person at same time.

4 or 5 of Bob Leverett's Survey Formulas, built into to the laser program. (hope that is okay with him)

WiFi video feed of scope and crosshair to tablet HMI for ergonomic triggering and tree top acquisition.

Many thanks to the brilliant people of Laser Technologies Inc. for making the S200. This is amongst the most powerful, accurate and smallest laser modules in the world. When used with other projects you can do amazing things with it !

The S200 is not cheap, but very reasonably priced considering what it does. I have not been able to find anything on the market even close to it for the price.

Michael Taylor

WNTS VP
http://www.landmarktrees.net
Attachments
OEM parts breakdown. The crux of this laser is the S200 and Atmega 2560 MCU
OEM parts breakdown. The crux of this laser is the S200 and Atmega 2560 MCU
8" tablet HMI. Can be attached to top of laser while handheld or attached remotely to arm strap or tripod mount
8" tablet HMI. Can be attached to top of laser while handheld or attached remotely to arm strap or tripod mount
Tablet HMI attached to instrument, which can be mounted and used on side like a traditional laser box.Th
Tablet HMI attached to instrument, which can be mounted and used on side like a traditional laser box.Th
The S200 bolted into place and cushioned with rubberized mount interface
The S200 bolted into place and cushioned with rubberized mount interface
LEDs inside unit show state of various components and communication cycles.
LEDs inside unit show state of various components and communication cycles.
A look inside the waterproof enclosure
A look inside the waterproof enclosure
Last edited by M.W.Taylor on Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:17 pm, edited 12 times in total.

User avatar
edfrank
Posts: 4217
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: The Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! Made From OEM P

Post by edfrank » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:41 pm

This sounds amazingly cool Michael.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

User avatar
M.W.Taylor
Site Admin
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:45 am

Re: The Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! Made From OEM P

Post by M.W.Taylor » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:44 pm

edfrank wrote:This sounds amazingly cool Michael.
Ed,

I've been measuring trees around my house with it today. It is incredibly accurate handheld !

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4484
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: The Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! Made From OEM P

Post by dbhguru » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:16 pm

Michael,

We wondered why we hadn't heard from you in a while, and now we know. Incredible achievement! What do you plan to do next?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
M.W.Taylor
Site Admin
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:45 am

Re: The Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! Made From OEM P

Post by M.W.Taylor » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:01 pm

dbhguru wrote:Michael,

We wondered why we hadn't heard from you in a while, and now we know. Incredible achievement! What do you plan to do next?

Bob

Bob, this project has been quite a distraction for me. My next plan is use it to find tall trees and measure them as accurately as a climber deployed tapeline. Also I may demonstrate this "thing" at an upcomming forestry conference. Programming the software to get all the devices to work together with the tablet was not easy to do.

User avatar
scolburn
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:08 am

Re: Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! (Built From OEM Part

Post by scolburn » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:31 pm

That's quite a device you've built there, Michael! What a powerful measurement system. It never ceases to amaze me what people can do with our sensors. Keep on pushing the limits!
Steve Colburn
LaserTech

User avatar
Lucas
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:55 am

Re: Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! (Built From OEM Part

Post by Lucas » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:02 am

Amazing stuff!! The future of tree study is going to be revolutionized by drones and lasers.
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4484
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! (Built From OEM Part

Post by dbhguru » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:13 am

Lucas,

I expect that you are correct. The high tech end has no foreseeable limits. Meanwhile we still must deal with tree measuring with sticks held up to mask the forms of trees at distances. Kind of funny, isn't it. However, this soup-to-nuts venue keeps lots of folks involved, which is as it should be.

As for me, I'm super pleased with the LTI TruPulse 200X. It has met every test I have devised and passed with flying colors. I can shoot through narrow holes in the canopy using the gate function. Its two-shot missing line routine implements the sine function for tree height. It gives us the older tangent-based tree height routine. We can make direct comparisons of the methods to see what a tape and clinometer user would likely report as a tree's height.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
mdvaden
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:30 pm

Re: The Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! Made From OEM P

Post by mdvaden » Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:39 pm

M.W.Taylor wrote:
dbhguru wrote:Michael,

We wondered why we hadn't heard from you in a while, and now we know. Incredible achievement! What do you plan to do next?

Bob

Bob, this project has been quite a distraction for me. My next plan is use it to find tall trees and measure them as accurately as a climber deployed tapeline. Also I may demonstrate this "thing" at an upcomming forestry conference. Programming the software to get all the devices to work together with the tablet was not easy to do.
Michael ..

Rather than just "thing" maybe come up with a catchy name for it. You said it's ugly and accurate ... so right away "The Death Star" of Star Wars came to mind. But maybe something more positive sounding.

Accu-Pulse ?

...
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

200 Pages - Coast Redwoods - http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

Portraits & Weddings - http://www.vadenphotography.com

User avatar
Erik Danielsen
Posts: 857
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: Most Powerful Forestry Laser Ever ! (Built From OEM Part

Post by Erik Danielsen » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:15 pm

Catchy names, hmm... Something that suggests both its potency and its optical nature? "The Eye of Sauron," perhaps? Oh dear. Not getting any more positive-sounding with that... the "All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto?"

Really that's just an incredible piece of work though.

Post Reply

Return to “Measurement and Dendromorphometry”