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Drivers Manual

Laser Scanning - Teledyne Optech Polaris - 20

Description

Driver to decode data from a Teledyne Polaris Terrestrial Laser Scanner.


The scanner is fully operated by Qinsy and applications are therefore versatile:
  • The combination of Qinsy interfaced to the Polaris on a moving platform while scanning profiles (line scanning in a fixed direction) will deliver a geo-referenced point cloud of co-ordinates, in real-time corrected for motion, heading and timing.

  • The combination of Qinsy with the scanner, while scanning statically (e.g. on tripod, 360 degrees horizontally) will deliver you immediately a geo-referenced point cloud of your scanned surroundings.

The driver automatically detects which model of the Polaris family is connected: the Polaris HD, the Polaris ER or the Polaris LR.

Although the Polaris has an integrated GNSS and an internal camera on board, they will not be used by Qinsy.


Driver Information

Driver Teledyne Polaris Interface Type Freebase/TCP/IP/UDP Driver Class Type Freebase
UTC Driver (question) Yes Input / Output Input and Output Executable DrvLaser.exe POLARIS
Related Systems

Related Pages

Communication between Qinsy and the scanner always goes via the wired network. Other communication channels (like Wifi, Bluetooth or Serial) are not supported.

It is advisable to use a fast (Gigabit) network card, due to the enormous amount of data to be expected.

Please note that the IP Address of the scanner is set to 192.168.0.1 and can't be changed.

So make sure to set the IP Address of the network card of the Qinsy computer in the same range:

In this example the Qinsy computer will have address 192.168.0.103. Set the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0.


Always check the network connection between your computer and the laser unit before commencing any scan operation.

You may do this by using the ping command from the Windows Command Prompt:

Select Start from the Windows Task bar, Run..., Cmd <Enter>, and 'ping' the address of your laser unit:

The network connection is okay when you receive a reply three times within a few milliseconds.

If you can't ping the scanner's address successfully, it is no use to continue: first a valid network connection must be established between scanner and Qinsy computer.

Once the driver has made a successful connection with the scanner, the on board display will turn yellow:

From this moment on you can not control the scanner anymore using the on board touch screen.

If you need to use the on board touch screen again, please disconnect first. How to connect and disconnect can be read in the Qinsy Online section of this document.


Advanced Tip

Every time you go online you must make a connection manually. This ensures whether communication with the scanner is okay or not.
However, as an advanced user you can let the driver automatically connect every time you go online. Use a registry editor and change the value from 0 into 1 for the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\QPS\QINSy\8.0\Drivers\DrvLaser\Settings\AutoConnect

Use this advanced option only when you are sure that the network is okay between scanner and Qinsy computer, because if the connection fails you will experience a longer timeout before the Controller is ready.

Without external timing from an accurate time source the driver will time-stamp the data when received at the network port using the computer's own internal clock. Due to network characteristics in general, this will result in inaccurate timing.

If you use the scanner on a non-moving platform for horizontal (3D) scanning, then of course accurate timing doesn't matter.

But when using the scanner on a moving platform (vessel or car) then timing via Time Synchronization pulse from GPS is highly recommended (read: mandatory).

For this the scanner needs a pulse (PPS) and a time message every second.

Unfortunately you can not use the internal GNSS for this, you will need to connect an external GNSS to the serial connector.

The time message must be NMEA $GPPPS at baudrate 38400. 

Format:

$GPPPS,hhmmss.ssss,d,wwww,uu.uu,pppp,*hh<CR><LF>
hhmmss.ssss hour, minutes, seconds, decimal seconds - UTC
d day offset in the week
wwww GNSS weeknumber
uu.uu GPS leapsecond
pppp counter
*hh NMEA XOR Checksum
<CR><LF> Carriage return and Line feed character
Example:
 $GPPPS,101958.0000,3,2030,18.00,162,*4E
  • Other NMEA formats are not supported at the time of writing.
  • Other baudrates are not supported at the time of writing.
  • Only field hhmmss.ssss is parsed, other fields are ignored. Therefore the time in this field must be UTC.

POLARIS REAR PANEL
10101 SERIAL CONNECTOR

PPS (BNC) Serial DB9 RS232 Time Synchronization
Pin 3 (Serial Ground)
Pin 5 (Ground) $GPPPS Message
Pin 4 (Serial Rx)
Pin 3 (Tx)
Pin 5 (PPS Pulse) Core of coax
PPS Pulse
Pin 9 (PPS Ground) Shield of coax

Note that internally the laser driver is treated as a multibeam system: creating multibeam x/y/z observations. Therefore you will find the laser system drivers under category type Multibeam Echosounders.

Multibeam versus Laser scanning terminology: ping = scan = swath = line, footprint = pixel = pulse = return

Database Setup

Add a Multibeam Echosounder system to your template setup and select from the list driver "Laser Scanning - Teledyne Optech Polaris TLS".

Note that the driver will automatically detect online which model of the Polaris family is connected: the Polaris HD, the Polaris ER or the Polaris LR.

Edit System Wizard

  • The Port number must be 5000
  • The IP address must be 192.168.0.1
  • Leave the Maximum update rate at zero
Multibeam Echosounder Parameters 

Important are the location of the Transducer Node and the Mounting Angles (Roll/Pitch/Heading offsets) on the second wizard page.

  • The exact values for the roll, pitch and heading offsets should be established with a patch test/calibration procedure.

    It is important that in the online setup the correct Scanner Mounting is selected.
    In that case you can leave the Roll, Pitch and Heading offsets around zero, you don't have to use values anymore like +270, or -90, etc.

  • Leave the Max. beams per ping value at 9999.

    The actual number of beams will be variable, and depends for example on the used online settings and on the targets being scanned.
Echosounder Accuracy Parameters

This last wizard page can be skipped, so leave all values at their defaults.

Multibeam Echosounder Corrections

This last wizard page can be skipped, so leave all values at their defaults.

Windows Firewall

This very first time Windows may pop up a security message:

Just enable all check-boxes!

If you forgot to do this, or if you are not sure if this has been done, you may want to follow the steps as described in the Additional Info or Trouble Shooting section about Windows firewall.

Controller

Select Echosounder Settings, click on the Laser System icon, and select the 'Control' tab page:

Control Device Settings
Connected

In order to communicate with the scanner the driver must make a network connection first.

Each time you go online you must make this connection manually. To establish a connection automatically, please follow the guidelines as described in the Network paragraph under System Interfacing.

  • No
    Select No to disconnect. This will also stop scanning if the laser was still scanning.
    Note that the driver will automatically disconnect when going offline, but you may also do this manually prior to quitting.
  • Yes
    Select Yes to connect.
    Under normal circumstances a successful connection will be established within a second.
    There will be a long timeout when no network connection can be made: it may take up to 10 seconds before you can continue. This may happen for example when the laser unit is still switched off or when the used IP address is not correct. After this timeout you will be informed in the Events list with a possible reason.
  • [ View Log File ]
    This will open the laser log file using the standard Windows text editor, e.g. Notepad.
    More information about the laser log file can be found in the Additional Info pane of this document under section Troubleshooting.
  • [ Open Log File folder ]
    This will open the current project's LogFiles folder using Windows Explorer. This folder contains the daily laser log file.
    More information about the laser log file can be found in the Additional Info pane of this document under section Troubleshooting.
  • [ Request System Information ]
    Select this option to get some relevant system information from the laser unit:
    Polaris model and serial number, software and firmware versions, disk capacity information, power source and a list with external camera configuration files.
    This can be useful for the manufacturer e.g. in case of trouble shooting. All information is stored in the daily laser log file.
    Note that you need to be connected in order to retrieve this information.
Scanner Mounting

This is a very important setting and it informs the driver how the scanner is physically mounted on the vehicle, with respect to its heading.

This setting is used in combination with the mounting alignment corrections (roll, pitch and heading offset) from your database system setup.
It means that when the selected scanner mounting is correct, your alignment corrections will be around zero.

  • Normal, Cable Backward
    Select this when the scanner is mounted horizontally with the cable connector panel pointing backwards.
  • Normal, Cable Forward
    Select this when the scanner is mounted horizontally with the cable connector panel pointing forward.
  • Normal, Cable Starboard
    Select this when the scanner is mounted horizontally with the cable connector panel pointing to starboard side
  • Normal, Cable Portside
    Select this when the scanner is mounted horizontally with the cable connector panel pointing to port side.

You can only change this setting when not connected.

Action

Selected action will be send to the laser unit, immediately after hitting the Apply or OK button. You must have initialized the connection first in order to select any action.

Note that any selection will always revert back to [None], after each selected action.

Always wait a few moments after each action, until the status in the Event list is updated with a message. It takes some time before the unit handles the requested command (action) and reverts back.

  • [ None ]
    This will be the selection after each action. Nothing will happen when hitting the Apply or OK button.
  • Start 
    Select this action in order to start scanning in the selected scan mode.
    Note that it may take quite some time before the first data is received.
    Normal response time of the scanner after the Start action will be between 5 and 10 seconds: the scanner will always turn around to its null reference position and then turns to the selected horizontal direction.
    In the meantime you can not change any other setting, so be patient until the scanner starts scanning.
    ..
    If scanning could not be started for some reason, check the message in the Event list for a possible solution.
  • Stop
    Select this action in order to stop scanning. Scanning will be stopped immediately after hitting the Apply or OK button.
    Note that it takes some seconds before the scanner will acknowledge that all has been stopped. Until then you can not change any other setting.
    On the rare occasion that the scanner does not respond to any command and keeps on spinning, you can go offline by closing the Controller. This will take a little longer than normal, but it will stop the scanner in the end. If this doesn't work, you should stop the scanner using the power on/off button on the scanner itself.
Vertical Area Selection

The maximum physical vertical field of view will be 120° (from -45° to +75°)

Select one of the predefined vertical scan areas in which you are interested:

  • Full FOV

    Select this to use the maximum physical field of view
  • Above Horizon

    Scan everything above the horizon (> 0 degree)
  • Narrow Horizon

    Scan everything a little around the horizon (± 10 degrees)
  • Below Horizon

    Scan everything below the horizon (< 0 degree)
  • Human Eye Field

    Scan everything between -20 and + 40 degrees

Note that excluded data due to this setting will not be recorded!

Scan Rate Select the desired laser repetition rate in kHz. The value reflects the maximum number of expected points per second.
  • 50 kHz
    This laser repetition rate is only supported by Polaris model LR
  • 200 kHz
    This laser repetition rate is only supported by Polaris model ER and LR
  • 500 kHz
    This laser repetition rate is supported by all three Polaris models: HD, ER and LR

When the selected Scan Rate is not supported by the connected Polaris model, you will be informed in the Events list panel.

Scan Resolution

The vertical resolution (distance between two consecutive laser hits) depends on a combination of the selected scan rate, the vertical area selection (FOV), an average reference range and a so-called galvo-speed value which will be send to the scanner: a lower galvo-speed value means a decreasing vertical resolution (more density), a higher galvo-speed value means an increasing vertical resolution (less density).
Due to the scanner physical limitations and dependencies on those aforementioned settings not all galvo-speed values are allowed.

So therefore the driver calculates for each combination a minimum and maximum galvo-speed value and the Scan Resolution selection here is actually a percentage (0% - 100%) of that dynamically calculated galvo-speed range:

  • Low
  • Medium
  • Normal
  • High
  • Highest

For example when you select Low then the maximum allowed galvo-speed value will be send.
If you select Highest then the minimum allowed galvo-speed value will be used and if you select Normal then a value halfway between the minimum and maximum allowed galvo-speed is send to the scanner.

As mentioned before the vertical resolution depends also on the selected scan rate and the vertical area selection:


More Density
Less Density
Scan Rate: 500 kHz ... 50 kHz
Vertical Area Selection: Narrow ... Full FOV
Scan Resolution: Highest ... Low

Note that for the calculations an average reference range of 250 meter is used.

The actual used galvo-speed value send to the scanner is logged in the daily laser log file for analyzing purposes.

Scan Interval

Leave to 1 (default) to accept all incoming scans.

To use every n-th scan only, use a value greater than 1, which results in less points per seconds being recorded by Qinsy.

Note that excluded data due to this setting will not be recorded!

Scan Mode Select the required measurement method: Line (2D) which means looking at one fixed direction, or Radar (3D), for example scanning 360° around.
Scan Direction

Set the line scan direction in degrees with respect to the vehicle heading. Valid Values are between 0 and 360 degrees. This setting is used in combination with the Scanner Mounting setting:

0 degree means scanning in forward direction, 90 degrees means scanning to starboard, 180 means scanning backwards and 270 means scanning to port side.

This option is only available when Scan Mode is set to Line (2D)

Horizontal Area Selection

Select one of the predefined horizontal scan areas. The scanner will turn continuously clockwise, counter-clockwise, clockwise, etc.

The selected area is used in combination with the Scanner Mounting setting.

  • Panorama
    The horizontal scan area goes from 0 to 360 degrees
  • Forward
    The horizontal scan area goes from -90 to +90 degrees
  • Wide Forward
    The horizontal scan area goes from -60 to +60 degrees
  • Narrow Forward
    The horizontal scan area goes from -20 to +20 degrees
  • Backward
    The horizontal scan area goes from +90 to +270 degrees
  • Wide Backward
    The horizontal scan area goes from +120 to +240 degrees
  • Narrow Backward
    The horizontal scan area goes from +160 to +200 degrees
  • Starboard
    The horizontal scan area goes from 0 to +180 degrees
  • Wide Starboard
    The horizontal scan area goes from +30 to +150 degrees
  • Narrow Starboard
    The horizontal scan area goes from +70 to +110 degrees
  • Portside
    The horizontal scan area goes from +180 to +360 degrees
  • Wide Portside
    The horizontal scan area goes from +210 to +330 degrees
  • Narrow Portside
    The horizontal scan area goes from +250 to +290 degrees

So in these predefined schemes Wide means ± 60 degrees and Narrow means ± 20 degrees.

This option is only available when Scan Mode is set to Radar (3D)

Continuous

When enabled (default Yes) the scanner will start endless scanning after Start, until the Stop command is received.

  • Yes (default)
    The scanner will turn continuously clockwise, counter-clockwise, clockwise, etc, until the Stop command is received.
  • No
    The scanner will do a single scan only after the Start command. It stops automatically when the selected horizontal area has been scanned.
    After each single scan you can find a so-called PGM image file in the current projects Graphics sub-folder showing a preview of what has been scanned. Note that in order to view it you'll need a Image Viewer utility that supports the PGM file format.

This option is only available when Scan Mode is set to Radar (3D).

In Line (2D) mode the scanner will always scan continuously.

This option may not be available in your setup. In that case the scanner will always scan continuously until the Stop command is received.

Rotation Speed (deg/sec)

Set the required horizontal rotation speed in degrees per second. Valid values must be between 1 (slow) and 90 (very fast) degrees per second.

This option is only available when Scan Mode is set to Radar (3D)

Minimum Range

Set the minimum required range in meters. Valid Values: 1.5 m to 250 m (Polaris HD), 1.5 m to 750 m (ER) or 1.5 m to 2000 m (LR).

Using this setting is recommended, but be careful: Blocked data due to this setting (i.e. all pixels less than this range) will not be recorded!

Maximum Range

Set the maximum required range in meters. Valid Values: 1.5 m to 250 m (Polaris HD), 1.5 m to 750 m (ER) or 1.5 m to 2000 m (LR).

Using this setting is recommended, but be careful: Blocked data due to this setting (i.e. all pixels more than this range) will not be recorded!

Minimum Intensity

Set the minimum allowed intensity. Valid values are: 0 to 255.

Note that blocked data due to this setting (i.e. all returns with an intensity lower than this) will not be recorded!

Maximum Intensity

Set the maximum allowed intensity. Valid values are: 0 to 255.

Note that blocked data due to this setting (i.e. all returns with an intensity higher than this intensity) will not be recorded!

Multiple Return Measurement

An emitted laser pulse may hit one or several targets, causing one or several laser returns.
For example the first return is from a tree-leaf, a second return comes from another leaf, and a possible last return is because of hitting the wall.

Select here which return you want to decode.

  • First
  • Last
  • All returns accepted

Notice that blocked data due to this setting will not be recorded

Use PPS
  • Yes
    This will tell the scanner to use the PPS pulse/time message from the external GNSS to time stamp the laser data.
    Mandatory when scanning on a moving platform in order to compensate for heading and motion of the vehicle.
    Important is to check the Status Flag in a Generic Display: a value of 2 means that accurate timing is okay.
  • No
    The driver will time stamp the laser data using the computer time when received at the network port. 
    Only select this
    - when scanning statically from a non-moving platform (Scan mode Radar 3D) or
    - when testing your setup in case the external GNSS is not available (yet). E.g. during mobilization time.
    The Status Flag value in a Generic Display will always be 0 (zero).

See for more information about the use of accurate timing the following sections in this document:
- System Interfacing, Timing
- Qinsy Online, Displays, Generic Display
- Trouble Shooting, Timing.

Store Laser Location
  • No
    No additional pixel will be added to the resulting point cloud.
  • Yes (Default)
    Every line scan an additional pixel with zero xyz co-ordinates will be added, in order to indicate the exact laser scanner location in the resulting point cloud.
    This extra pixel will always have beam number 1, and its intensity/quality value will be zero
Leave Survey on Scanner SSD This option is only available when scanning in Radar (3D) mode.
  • No (Default)
    Notice that during scanning the scanner will always store temporarily all data locally on its SSD drive. After the Stop command this data will be cleaned (deleted).
  • Yes
    The scanned data will also be stored on the Polaris internal SSD drive using Teledyne Optechs own file format. Although this data is of no use for Qinsy it can be used e.g. by third-party applications.
    To view and download after the survey: use the on-board display and select Start, Surveys. The listed surveys will have the following name convention:
    Qinsy_date_utctime_additionaltext, where additional text is coming from the used Session Storage Format Specifier.

    It is the users responsibility to ensure that the scanners hard disk has enough capacity.
    Tip: use [ Request System Information ] to get the current disk capacity.
Trigger External Camera

First, this setting has nothing to do with the internal camera onboard the laser scanner: the driver does not use or control this device.

But you can connect an external DSLR camera (currently only model Nikon D5500 or D5600) to the laser scanner using the 3.5 mm TRS headphone jack.

  • No (Default)
    Select this when no external camera is connected at all or when no automatic capturing needs to be done.
  • Camera Config 1
  • ...
  • Camera Config 5
    Use [ Request System Information ] to get a list with all available external camera configuration xml files.

In the unlikely situation that your scanner has more then five configuration xml files loaded and you need to select one of these, please contact QPS support for additional instructions.

Trigger Interval

If you've connected an external DSLR camera (currently only model Nikon D5500 or D5600) to the laser scanner (via the 3.5 mm TRS headphone jack) then you can set the trigger interval (in seconds) for capturing images automatically.

This option is only available when a Camera Configuration file has been selected

Triggering the camera is currently one-way only; there is no feedback from the camera to Polaris. This means images are all saved on the camera’s SD card, so it’s better to start with an empty SD card.

Please note that in case you need more image control with your external camera it can be an option to use our dedicated camera driver "DSLR Camera - WIA Compatible" instead.
It has many more advantages: extended triggering capabilities, JPG images will be geo-referenced, storage of these images immediately in the current project folder, images can be viewed instantly in the Navigation Display, etc.
Note that the driver works with most Nikon cameras and for more information please consult our Drivers description.

Session Storage Format Specifier

This format specifier can be used in combination with the Controller Session Storage Format Specifier #E.

The following specifiers are supported (plus your own free text):

#A: Scan Mode
#B: Horizontal Area Selection or Scan Direction
#C: Vertical Area Selection
#D: Scan Rate
#E: Scan Resolution
#F: Horizontal Rotation Speed
#G: Range limits
#H: Multi Target Measurement
#N: Name of the system (as defined in the template database setup)
#P: Using PPS

The format specifiers are case-sensitive. If you use lower-case then only a value or index number will be displayed.

So if you use #E in the Session Storage Setup the filename of the newly recorded database will automatically contain the scanner settings that you were using.

Example:



Generic Display

The Generic Display can be used to show the numerical values for the number of beams (pixels) being scanned per ping (scan), the number of beams being scanned per second, the ping rate (scans per seconds), range values, etc.

Use this display to check two important values:

  • Ping Age
    The Ping Age is the difference between the current computer time and the time of the last received data package.
    The ping age value (in seconds) must be around zero (e.g. 0.01 or 0.005), especially when setting 'Use PPS' is enabled.
    A ping age value around 18 seconds clearly indicates that the time field inside the $GPPPS time message is GPS time and not the expected UTC time.
  • Status Flag
    Make sure that the status flag value is 2, meaning 'PPS OKAY'.
    If the Status Flag is 0 then this either means that:
    • setting 'Use PPS' is not enabled, or
    • your template setup has no Time Synchronization system defined (not recommended), or
    • your Qinsy Time Synchronization system is not working (please check), or
    • the PPS pulse and/or $GPPPS message is not accepted by the scanner.

You may use the attached example Generic Display Layout file as example:

Download the file using the link (for this you need Internet access), copy the layout (Use 'Save Link As...') to your current Project's Settings\Display folder and open it using a new Generic Display.

You only need to select the correct laser system as defined in your template setup.

Raw Multibeam Display

Laser data in a Raw Multibeam Display is uncorrected for motion, but it will give you a good indication whether laser data is decoded or not and what kind of objects are detected.

If you set Color Coding to Backscatter then the intensity will be used for color coding.

Adjust the Backscatter Intensity scale, so set the minimum and maximum values to somewhere between 0 (min) to 65000 (max).

You may quickly determine the current maximum intensity value by selecting the Intensity Distribution view (D toolbar button) and then the Auto Scale button.

 

In this example the max value of the last ping is 16 961, therefore a value of 20 000 is used as maximum backscatter intensity for color-coding.

     

Timing

Problem

Scanner has been started and it is scanning, but no data is received in Qinsy.

Possible explanation

You have enabled setting 'Use PPS' but (for whatever reason) PPS/NMEA message is not accepted by the scanner.
So when this happens no data is streamed to Qinsy, although the scanner is working.

Solution

Disable setting 'Use PPS'. See if data is now coming in Qinsy.
If this is true, then you know that the PPS/NMEA was not accepted at the serial back panel connector.
See section System Interfacing, Timing for more details.

Firmware

When your scanner has firmware SCADA v1.3 or higher installed it is recommended to use Qinsy v9.1 or higher.
This version will fully support the new firmware of Teledyne.

Network


Problems

If you experience problems using your laser scanner in combination with this driver, or if you need additional information or support, please attach the daily laser log-file when submitting your JIRA support ticket.


  • The most commonly reported problem is that network data is blocked by the Windows Firewall. When this happens you may see that data does come in using other utilities (like the IO Tester or the manufacturer's own software), but that the Qinsy driver does not accept any data.

    The following (Windows 7) steps may solve this:
  1. Go offline, open the Control Panel (Start menu, Settings, Control Panel)
  2. Select Windows Firewall (System and Security)
  3. Select Advanced Settings (Upper left corner)
  4. Select Inbound Rules, highlight all 'Driver for Laser Scanning' entries and delete them using the right mouse popup menu (or Del key)
  5. If you now go online, the Windows Security Alert message will pop up: It is important to check all three check boxes!
  • Another possible problem could be that your computer has more than one network cards installed (e.g. LAN and WIFI), but within the same sub-net mask range (255.255.255.0). It is recommended to make the first three digits unique for each network card IP address.
    You may check the daily laser log-file, it will show the IP addresses for all available network adapters and indicates which one the driver will use.

    Please check that the driver is using the correct one.

Daily Laser Log File

All user actions are logged in a daily laser log file. You will find this file in the current project's LogFiles folder.
The filename convention for this ASCII log-file is <System Name> DD-MM-YYYY.log.

Notice that all time stamps in this log file are by default in UTC.
An advanced user may change this to local time zone (LTZ) by changing the registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\QPS\QINSy\8.1\Drivers\DrvLaser\Settings\TimeLogFileUtc value from 1 to 0.

Improve Performance

Due to the enormous amount of data to be expected while scanning and recording, it is recommended to keep the system overhead as low as possible.

Here you'll find some tips and tricks in order to fine-tune your setup.

However, these are not strict rules, because each project is different and depends on the current situation and hardware being used. Your goal should be to keep your system CPU usage as low as possible.

HARDWARE

Virus Scanner

Disable Virus Scanner, or at least the setting 'Scan Files when Writing/Reading to/from disk'.

Storage

Make use of Solid State Drive (SSD), or fast SATA hard drive (7200 - 10000 rpm).

Network

Your network card speed should never be lower than the scanner's network speed. Use a network card that can be configured for 100Mbit or 1Gbit speed. Do not use USB Networking Adapters, because this may result in loss of data when huge amounts of data are being broadcast.

Task Manager CPU

General Task Manager CPU Usage should be less than 50%. CPU load of each display must be less than 10-15%.

Make sure that the 'Working Set (Memory)' column for process Multibeamer.exe and/or DrvResultOut.exe is not constantly increasing, especially during recording.

PROJECT PREPARATION

Laser Device Settings

During project preparation, establish the optimum settings in order to achieve the required results.

The most benefit you will gain from setting the Scan Speed, Scan Rate, Scan Resolution, Angle Resolution, Vertical Area Selection, Scan Area Selection and Sector Reduction as well as possible.

Especially the Vertical or Scan Area Selection is very important. Make use of Mask schemes to define areas which you don't want to scan.

 ONLINE

Raw Multibeam Display

Open only one Raw Multibeam Display.

Disable the options 'Show Big Dots' and 'Draw Lines'.

Navigation Display

Open only one Navigation Display.

Preferably disable DXF and TIFF layers. These layers should only be used during project preparation.

When 'object tracking' is enabled, do not zoom in too close. Keep in mind that the display should not be 'refreshed' more than 1x per second.

3D Point Cloud Display

It is not recommended to use a 3D Point Cloud Display.

If you do so, make sure your hardware contains a high-spec video card.

- Sounding Grid

- Dynamic Surface

Storage to a Sounding Grid is not recommended, and should be purely for display purposes: e.g. for checking the scan coverage or for showing the 95% Confidence Level statistics.

If you do want to see the scan coverage then it is advisable to store to a sounding grid and not to the dynamic surface

Do not use a small cell-size, preferably not less than 1.0 meter.

If you notice in the Navigation Display that the real-time sounding grid is drawn/updated with a delay, then please increase the cell-size or disable the storage completely.

Offline (Replay) there are no limitations and you may use small cell-sizes, e.g. 0.10 meter.

 OFFLINE

Replay

In Replay there are no limitations as mentioned above: use as many displays as you like, store to sounding grids with small cell-sizes, update the dynamic surface, etc.

All this may only affect the replay speed, but the data integrity of your final DTM processing files should be fine.


Controller Computation Setup

While working online, disabling the laser system in your Computation Setup will have the most effect on the performance

Footprints will not be geo-referenced, nor corrected for motion, heading or timing in real-time. This will save a tremendous amount of CPU power and memory usage.

This tip allows you to get the most out of your scanner: maximum scanning speed and maximum scanning rate, without the risk of losing scans due to performance issues.


Drawback is that no DTM file (e.g. QPD) is created, nor a sounding grid is filled, while working online.

To create a final DTM and/or Sounding Grid file you need to Replay the recorded databases afterwards.



Real-time Performance Monitoring

When the scan data rate is too high, the other core Qinsy processes may not be able to handle the amount of data published by the driver (too many pixels/sec) and in the past it would eventually crash the system.

An extra safety check has been implemented in order to prevent crashing of Qinsy: abnormal memory usage will be detected and when it exceeds a certain threshold limit a Stop command will be send automatically to the scanner.

When that happens, the following message is displayed in the Events list in order to inform the user:

"SCANNING ABORTED"
"PROCESS MULTIBEAMER.EXE EXCEEDED CRITICAL MEMORY 1.7GB"

Whether such an event may occur is very much hardware dependent and/or on which settings are used.


You can check yourself if your setup is vulnerable: open the Windows Task Manager and monitor process Multibeamer.exe and/or DrvResultOut.exe while scanning. Under normal conditions the memory used by these processes should be constant.
If you notice that column Working Set (Memory) is constantly increasing, then the process will eventually crash when it exceeds 2GB and you will have to restart Qinsy. Note that 2GB is the maximum memory allowed for a 32bit process.


There may be situations that the default 1.7GB threshold is a little too low, or that the Stop scanning command must be sent earlier, e.g after exceeding a memory usage of 1GB.
So as an advanced user you may modify the following registry key in order to increase this threshold:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\QPS\QINSy\8.0\Drivers\DrvLaser\Settings\ProcessMemoryLimit

Note:

  • If you enter a value (in bytes) higher than 2GB it won't be accepted and the default will be used. You may try the following key value: 2000000000
  • If the value is set to zero, no monitoring of the Multibeamer.exe or DrvResultOut.exe process memory usage will be done. This is at your own risk because it may cause a crash when the memory usage exceeds 2GB.

But most important

Try to prevent having such events happening in your setup:

  • Check all your hardware and upgrade where possible. (Especially CPU power, Memory installed, Network card, Hard disk storage, etc.)
  • Read carefully the Improve Performance paragraph below and try to follow up all the tips.

Intensity

The reported intensity from the laser scanner for each laser return is a float number between 0 (dark surfaces) and 1.0 (white surfaces or retro-reflectors)

The driver will convert this number automatically to a Quality attribute (always in the range between 0 and 255) and to an Intensity attribute (always in the range between 0 and 65535).
Both attributes will be stored in the raw database (*.db) and Qinsy Processing DTM file (*.QPD).
These attributes are ideal for color-coding the final DTM point cloud (e.g inside the Validator, Qimera or other third party programs).

When exporting a Qinsy Processing DTM file (*.QPD) to LAS note that the Intensity attribute will be exported to the LAS Intensity field and the Quality attribute will be exported to the LAS User Data field.