|Dr Bill Sellers tests his Sciatica within the cave system....|
The chosen LiDAR tool was certainly the best kit we could have chosen for the task. The Z+F Imager is stunningly engineered and simple to use (the latter being very important for me!). This little beauty pulses an eye-safe laser that maps the 3D geometry of the cave, as we move it from scan station to scan station...some 50+ in the depths of the subterranean maze. Ideally this means we do not get in the way of the said laser when it rotates 180 degrees to scan its surroundings. When using the kit in the open, this is fine...but in a cave, this involves us working alone or in pairs at most (in this case, Bill Sellers and I). As the unit rotates, you have to move with the rotation, avoiding contact with the beam. This makes the later alignment of the 3D scans much easier and there is less tidying-up required of the said scans. In a cave, this involves twisting your body around corners in an attempt not to be scanned....if there is two of you, it is like playing a bizarre game of 3D 'Twister'. Needless to say, a few hours into the scanning, we were monumentally exhausted and ached in places that only maybe an Olympic Twister Champion might ache.
|Z+F Imager about to spin its funky stuff...as we rapidly retreat into the nooks and crannies of the cave!|
There is a short delay before the Z+F unit kick-starts each scan, if there is a potential hide hole...this is the time when we scurry like giant gerbils in a stony cage towards stoney refuges in an attempt to avoid messing-up the scan...this is when we trip, scrape, bump, bash and abrade our heads, shoulders, knees and hips against the unforgiving walls of the cave. I am grateful the scanner does not record sound...as there there would be vast stretches of profanity that would blight each and very scan...requiring a major edit from the final data.
|Our Cave-man natural history guide checks a LiDAR scan marker|
|Dr Bill Sellers hides in his 'hobbit laser avoidance hole' as I do the 180 degree LiDAR dance...|