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  The American Surveyor     

Renishaw Launches a New Dedicated Time-Tagged Marine Lidar System for Vessel-Based Surveying Print E-mail
Written by Renishaw   
Friday, 20 November 2015

20th November 2015 - Global engineering technologies company Renishaw is pleased to announce the launch of Merlin, the latest innovative laser scanner in its range of mobile 3D mapping products.

Merlin supports safer, faster and more complete marine survey data acquisition for efficient coastal, offshore and inland waterway project management and enhanced decision-making capabilities for vessel operators.

The first mapping product launched under the Renishaw brand, Merlin has been engineered specifically for use in the challenging marine environment and to help significantly cut the cost of vessel-based laser scanning.

Renishaw’s low-cost, low-maintenance solution to the hydrographic surveying industry’s increasing demand for a cost-effective marine laser scanner, Merlin speeds up operations, improves crew and vessel safety, and produces more complete point clouds for better data analysis.

The Merlin laser scanner is unique in that it offers seamless integration with existing vessel hardware and software. This means that vessel operators do not duplicate costly equipment, infrastructure and technologies that they already own. This cost-effective access to the advanced lidar technology required for exceptional surveying enables smart vessel operators to expand their product offering at low cost.

Renishaw has worked closely with the world’s leading hydrographic software companies to develop Merlin’s new dedicated Renishaw SLM driver, which is fully operational with the following major industry-standard software packages:
• HYSWEEP® multi-beam collection and editing software from HYPACK®. Fully operational in the HYSWEEP_15.0.18 version of HYPACK® 15.
• NaviScan and Kuda sonar and laser data acquisition software from EIVA.
• QINSy (Quality Integrated Navigation System) hydrographic data acquisition software from QPS.
• Teledyne PDS software for hydrographic survey and dredging operations (version and newer).

Using time-of-flight laser technology, Merlin quickly measures and records time-tagged geo-referenced data points above the waterline. This time-tagged information can now be synchronised with the vessel’s bathymetric data captured below the waterline, which means that a detailed 3D map of the full marine environment can be captured simultaneously. Acquiring the full point cloud in a single pass significantly reduces project timescales and the amount of time that survey teams have to spend in challenging conditions.

“We’re excited to be able to present the hydrographic surveying community with the first laser scanner dedicated to cost-effective marine surveying,” says Karl Bradshaw, Business Manager for Renishaw’s mapping product range. “Merlin is not only versatile, it is also extremely robust – designed and manufactured to Renishaw’s exacting standards. This unique laser scanning system provides survey companies and their end clients with a value-added solution to plan and undertake safer, faster and more comprehensive projects and we look forward to working closely with them.”

“There’s currently nothing else like Merlin on the market,” said Cam Thomas, Technical Manager of Renishaw's Spatial Measurement Division. “Renishaw is proud to be the first to offer marine surveyors a safe, quick and accurate way to gather above-water detail while completing their regular underwater surveys, and we are certain that Merlin will gain rapid market adoption.”

Renishaw’s Merlin marine lidar system will launch at the Hydro 2015 conference and exhibition in Cape Town this month to an international audience of hydrographic marine surveyors, civil engineers, oceanographers, geophysicists and other marine professionals. Renishaw will also be showcasing Merlin in December at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans, USA.

For further information on Renishaw’s new Merlin dedicated marine time-tagged laser scanner please visit www.renishaw.com/merlin

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