Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) at CWU

Undergraduate student Daniel Ibarra in the field in Surprise Valley, CA, with the CWU scanner (photo by Anne Egger).

The Department of Geological Sciences at Central Washington University and UNAVCO jointly own a terrestrial laser scanner that is available for research and teaching purposes to trained users.

TLS uses the technology known as lidar, or light detection and ranging, from a ground-based perspective. The TLS instrument is mounted on a tripod and emits laser pulses in a swath as it rotates on the tripod. As reflected pulses return, the scanner records the 3-dimensional location of the reflecting surface, as well as its reflectance. This allows users to build high-resolution 3D models of surfaces and objects with up to sub-centimeter precision.

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Contact information

If you are interested in learning more about the scanner, or finding out if TLS would be useful for your project, please contact

Anne Egger
Assistant Professor
Geological Sciences and Science Education