SMARTPHONE-BASED REALITY CAPTURE FOR SUBSURFACE UTILITIES: EXPERIENCES FROM WATER UTILITY COMPANIES IN DENMARK
Keywords: Reality Capture, point clouds, photogrammetry, subsurface utilities, as-built documentation, water pipes
Abstract. Inaccurate and inconsistent documentation of subsurface utilities is a reoccurring problem in the construction industry affecting not only the end-users, but all actors involved in designing, constructing, and maintaining pipes, cables and other utilities hidden underground. In this study, a new method for 3D capturing of subsurface utilities, based on a newly developed Smartphone-based Reality Capture (RC) solution is explored. The research was divided into two parts. Firstly a testing of the method accuracy and secondly, an investigation of the usability of the method. The research results firstly showed that the RC solution is a feasible surveying method, that facilitate capturing of as-built utility assets, which can be used as a supporting tool to conventional surveying methods or alone, as the testing showed an accuracy of ±5 cm for the generated point clouds. Secondly the usability testing revealed that the RC solution benefited the utility owners by allowing time-savings on construction projects, as well as generating visual-realistic 3D models of exposed subsurface utilities to be used for quality assurance and planning of future utility work.