ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume X-1-2024
09 May 2024
 | 09 May 2024

Assessing and Improving Automated Viewpoint Planning for Static Laser Scanning Using Optimization Methods

Florian Noichl, Maximilian Stuecke, Clemens Thielen, and André Borrmann

Keywords: scan planning, viewpoint planning, point cloud, terrestrial laser scanning, point cloud quality, optimization

Abstract. The preparation of laser scanning missions is important for efficiency and data quality. Furthermore, it is a prerequisite for automated data acquisition, which has numerous applications in the built environment, including autonomous inspections and monitoring of construction progress and quality criteria. The scene and potential scanning locations can be discretized to facilitate the analysis of visibility and quality aspects. The remaining mathematical problem to generate an economic scan strategy is the Viewpoint Planning Problem (VPP), which asks for a minimum number of scanning locations within the given scene to cover the scene under pre-defined requirements. Solutions for this problem are most commonly found using heuristics. While these efficient methods scale well, they cannot generally return globally optimal solutions. This paper investigates the VPP based on a problem description that considers quality-constrained visibility in 3D scenes and suitable overlaps between individual viewpoints for targetless registration of acquired point clouds. The methodology includes the introduction of a preprocessing method designed to simplify the input data without losing information about the problem. The paper details various solution methods for the VPP, encompassing conventional heuristics and a mixed-integer linear programming formulation, which is solved using Benders decomposition. Experiments are carried out on two case study datasets, varying in specifications and sizes, to evaluate these methods. The results show the actual quality of the obtained solutions and their deviation from optimality (in terms of the estimated optimality gap) for instances where exact solutions can not be achieved.