Group Mobile Terrestrial Scanning

The research focus of the group is the development of time-of-flight-based optical measurement systems for mobile use on rail and road vehicles. The systems determine distances to objects with great speed and submillimeter precision. Combined with a scanning unit and cameras, they can also capture three-dimensional object geometries. For precise position and location detection, we combine the systems with inertial sensors, which allows data to be assigned to a fixed system of local or global coordinates. Our robust measurement systems are installed on road and rail measurement vehicles or on driverless vehicles for surveying difficult-to-access objects. The systems survey and monitor rail infrastructure and inspect road surfaces or tunnel constructions with high precision. For a fully automated analysis and classification of 2D and 3D data, we are developing self-learning algorithms based, among others, on the concept of deep learning.

Rail systems

  • Overhead wire surveying at speeds of up to 250 km/h
  • Railway line clearance monitoring with an accuracy of 3 mm
  • Environment scanning with up to 800 profiles per second
  • Track profile measurement with an accuracy of 0.3 mm
  • Tunnel inspection: 360° 3D-geometry scanning, crack detection with millimeter resolution, moisture detection

Road systems

  • Measuring transverse evenness of roads with an accuracy of 0.3 mm
  • Mapping of 2 million measuring points per second
  • Surveying road corridors of up to 100 m in width with an accuracy of 3 mm
  • Detecting cracks in road surfaces at driving speeds of 80 km/h with a resolution of 1 mm

Miniaturization of mobile mapping systems


  • Optimizing the mechanical and electronic setup of complex multi-sensor system
  • Reducing data in real time for fast and efficient data transfe
  • Data interpretation in real tim
  • Adaptable for measuring railway and road environment