Science Week in the Higher Polytecnic School of Avila

¿Which are the roles of Geomatic engineers? ¿What is a Research Group? ¿Which type of works are carried out in a Research Group?. These questions are part of the wide range of queries done by our young students. Questions replied during the Science Week, here in the Higher Polytecnic of Avila, through conferences, practices and meetings carried out by the Polytechnic´s profesors and researchers. 

 

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For the second year, and during the last week (days 14 and 17 of November), took place in the Higher Polytecnic School of Avila the Science Week. This week included a total of 20 proposals (placing as the most active school in the Castilla y Leon region). Activities where the students saw the process carried out during the preparation of biodiesel, mathematical approaches used in crime scenes, the function of the drones in the inspections or buildings or cities or how we can recreate in 3D objects using only a smartphone.

 

The latter two activities are part of a wide range of events (such as Terrestrial Laser Scanners, Virtual Reality, etc.) developed by the Research Group TIDOP. Said events are focused in part of showing students the possibilities that can offer the engineerings of the School. Members of the Research Group TIDOP shown the engineering behind the 3D models, drones or Virtual Reality systems.

A total of 300 students participated in the events, from different high schools. For more details about the activities carried out during the Science Week in Avila please consult:

Science week in the media

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A PhD dissertation from the University of Salamanca (Spain) seeks to improve agroforestry productivity.

Can the productivity be improved at agroforestry field by low-cost and non-invasive techniques and securing a sustainable development? Yes, it can. It has  been demonstrated by Monica Herrero Huerta, PhD from the Polytechnic University of Avila (Spain), who opted for photogrammetric techniques to develop a work which earned Cum Laude “for its innovative challenge, properly raised under a clearly scientific vision” and with collaborations between Tidop group from the University of Salamanca (Spain), the Institute of Regional Development from Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) and the Remote Sensing Laboratory from the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands), where currently Herrero develops her work as a researcher.

 “The discussed issues were focused on the progress of the crop quality, the prediction of the yield, data integration to advance in forest  monitoring and the extraction of biological parameters of the vegetation in real time “, the doctor says.

As she recognized, “since the last decade of the twentieth century, research lines on the applicability of Geotechnology to Agroforestry Engineering have been developed, in order to optimize the agroforestry, environmental and economic management”. In this case, these research lines were focused on photogrammetry, a technique well-known in Avila campus and, according to the doctor, numerous information is available concerning to field monitoring, helping in decision making and traceability needs and represent an improvement in the intrinsic quality of the agricultural and forestry obtained products.

Within the various methodologies used, Herrero emphasizes in the multispectral aerial photogrammetry to agronomic analysis, “low-cost and close range by paramotor over large areas of crops” and she could develop on an experimental farm in Albacete (Spain).

As it regards terrestrial photogrammetry to estimate the agricultural production, she also talks about a methodology “low cost and close range by reflex and compact cameras”. In this case, the experiment was carried out in a vineyard of Logroño (Spain) in which thanks to this technology, different production variables associated to each cluster were estimated. Ideal, for example, to plan the harvest.

Moreover, the thesis had its space for aerial photogrammetry for forest management, “low-cost and close range photogrammetry by paramotor over large extensions of forest applied to forestry inventory”. She could develop this study in Albacete (Spain), over a Pinus nigra area.

And finally, the work also analysed Mobile LiDAR data, for direct applications in the urban tree inventory in real time.  This study considers the automated extraction in a large scale of tree parameters through a system laser  mobile mapping” she explains.

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Original article: PhD dissertation in agronomy

In ten years, Spain will have serious problems: Engineers will not exist

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The Director of the Cartographic and Land Engineering Department of the University of Salamanca, Diego González Aguilera, is one of the most prestigious researchers at that University. He also leader the TIDOP Research Group specialized in Photogrammetry and Computer Vision.  That Group consists of scientist from various disciplines, from civil engineers or architects to engineers in geomatics. This line-up of the team allows the generation of 3D models that can be used for other sectors to enhance the final product obtained.

Nowadays, TIDOP Research Group has achieved some interesting results in different fields. For example, regarding the road accident field they are working on a system capable of 3D reconstructing accident scenes, allowing an accurate evaluation of the different parameters involved. Another interesting study relating with the Heritage field is the creation of predictive models on which possible pathological processes of our monuments can be predicted and evaluated.

In an interview with Antonio Casillas, Diego discussed the future of engineering in Spain. Diego said that in about 10 year, Spain will have serious problems with its engineers. Countries as USA are undergoing this problem using engineers from other countries such as, for example, Spain.

Diego has witnessed this problem at first hand. Recently, he has been part of an evaluation committee at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (considered one of the most important universities in Spain), where he observed the great decline of enrolments: “from 250 to 50 new enrolments in the civil engineering degree”, says Diego.

From his own experience, Diego believes that the problem comes from the secondary education. Companies as BQ, show robots in secondary classes to motivate their students to study an engineering.

For more information, please consult: Interview with Diego Gonzalez Aguilera

Hooking to map study

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In spite of his 33 years, Pablo Rodríguez González (Mieres-Asturias, 1983) has a wide and recognize research and academic career. Although his close relatives have always been connected with the mining field. Pablo took his Bachelor degree in surveying engineering in 2004 from Oviedo University. Later, in 2006, he received his Master degree in Geodesy and Cartography. Obtaining two First National End of Degree Awards.

Nowadays, Pablo is a post-doctoral research at University of Salamanca and member of the Research Unit TIDOP (Geomatics Technologies for the 3D digitalization and modelling of complex objects). Linked to this group from his pre-doctoral stage, Pablo wrote his PhD thesis, entitled “Automatización en el procesamiento de datos adquiridos mediante laser escáner 3D”. Receiving his third First National End of Degree Award.

Since then, he has been visiting different National and International Universities. Highlighting a research centre in Trento (Italy): the Research Unit 3DOM (https://3dom.fbk.eu/). There, Pablo participated in a European research project. Using UAV platforms to digitalize First World War cultural heritage elements.

Pablo is co-author of several research publications in international journals. Also, he has participated in fiveteen research project. One of them the European project CTH2 (Cultural Heritage Through Time).

Nowadays, Pablo is working on a research line that tries to hybridize the data provided by different cameras (RGB and thermographic cameras). Said approach allows the generation of 3D models. Enabling the detection of pathologies, thermal breaks, etc.

It is also noteworthy that Pablo is author of eight patents in different fields (Forensic, Photogrammetry and Industry) as well as the winner of an education prize granted by the most prestigious organization into the geomatic field: the ISPRS. Regarding this prize, Pablo and other researchers developed an educational software able to pass from 2D digital images to 3D models. Nowadays, said work, still lives. Involving several Universities (Salamanca, Bologna and FBK) under the name GRAPHOS (http://tidop.usal.es/software). This program comes to helping users to reconstruct object in 3D requiring only a device able to take images (mobile phone, tablet, digital camera, etc.)

Pablo expresses his intention to continue with his academic career, if possible, in Ávila. Boosting the Campus of this city.

 

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Análisis termográfico de edificios

 

El uso de la termografía infrarroja comMapaEnergeticoo técnica sobradamente provada para la inspección de edificios y localización de patologías como fugas de aire, humedades, etc. Nos permite realizar un examen visual “in-situ” de calidad de los objetos de estudio gracias a la posibilidad de visualizar en tiempo real los resultados pudiendo detectar sin dificultad los desperfectos o elementos característicos de estos. Estas técnicas de medición cualitativa nos proporcionan la posibilidad de realizar inspecciones rápidas y eficaces sin contacto directo con el objeto y de forma no destructiva, lo que disminuye tanto el riesgo de incidentes para los operarios como los daños producidos en los propios objetos de estudio ocasionados por otras técnicas intrusivas. Además, también se ha demostrado la utilidad de la termografía infrarroja como técnica puramente de medida a través de su utilización para el cálculo de propiedades termofísicas de materiales tales como difusividad y transmitancia térmica.

En el caso de termografía cualitativa, las publicaciones existentes tratan de estudios realizados in-situ, principalmente en edificios históricos o elementos del patrimonio cultural, mientras que los estudios cualitativos se realizan, en la mayor parte de los casos, en laboratorios sobre muestras de tamaño limitado. En aquellos casos en los que se han realizado estudios termográficos cuantitativos sobre edificios in-situ, los valores de temperatura son empleados con el objetivo de obtener propiedades termofísicas (conductancia térmica) reales del cerramiento, sin embargo su distribución espacial no es considerada.

Conjugar ambas aplicaciones permitirá la automatización del cálculo de pérdidas de calor a partir de las temperaturas medidas con una cámara termográfica. De este modo, no solo se usa la termografía para representar el estado de la pared, sino que también se usan los valores de temperatura contenidos en la termografía para la extracción de parámetros métricos del edificio en estudio, por lo que la hibridación de la información termográfica con el material cartográfico de precisión permitiría extraer la geometría real del objeto de estudio con textura termográfica, pudiendo así realizar mediciones precisas de los elementos de interés directamente sobre el resultado obtenido.

 

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Estudios como el publicado por EuroACE en 2010 colocan la mejora de la eficiencia energética en edificación en cabeza de las acciones necesarias para la reducción de emisiones de gases del efecto invernadero y gasto energético, así como para servir de empuje a la generación de empleo. Especial es el caso del parque de edificios ya construidos, la mayoría procedente de los años 1940-80, con normativa inexistente y recursos escasos. En ellos las obras de rehabilitación energética pueden suponer un ahorro de hasta el 75% en consumo de energía. En España existen 13 millones de viviendas susceptibles de intervención, cuya rehabilitación energética supondría una reducción de las emisiones del sector del 34% con respecto al año 2001.

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Building thermographic analysis

 

 

The use of infraMapaEnergeticored thermography as a widely tested technique for building inspection and location of pathologies such as air leakage and moisture allows the performance of  quality “in-situ” visual examination of the objects under study due to the possibility of obtaining real-time results, being able to detect without difficulty damages or material characteristics. This qualitative measurement technique provides the capability of doing quick, effective and non-destructive inspection without direct contact with the object under study, decreasing the risk of incidents to operators and the damage of the objects comparing with other intrusive techniques. Furthermore, the utility of infrared thermography as a measurement technique has been proved by its use for the determination of the thermophysical properties of materials such as diffusivity and thermal transmittance.

In the qualitative approach, some authors have performed in-situ studies, mainly in historical buildings or cultural heritage elements, whereas quantitative studies are performed mainly in laboratories with limited size samples. In those cases where quantitative thermography studies were performed in-situ, temperature values were employed in order to obtain the real thermophysical properties (thermal conductance) of the building envelope, but their spatial distribution is not considered.

Combine both applications will enable the automation of the heat loss computation from the measured temperatures with a thermographic camera. Thus, the thermography is not only used to represent the state of the wall, but also temperature values represented on the thermography for extracting the metric parameters of the study object so the hybridization of the thermographic information with precise cartographic material would  allow to extract the actual geometry of the object of study with thermal texture, being able to make accurate measurements of the elements of interest directly on the obtained results.

 

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Studies such as the one published by EuroACE in 2010, places improved energy efficiency in building construction at the top of the list of actions that need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gases and energy costs, in addition to acting as a stimulus to generate employment. In particular is the case of existing buildings stock, most of which dates back to the period 1940-80, constructed using non-existent standards and scarce resources. Here, energy refurbishment works could represent a saving of up to 75% in energy consumption. In Spain there are 13 million homes that could be the subject of intervention, where energy refurbishment could result in a reduction in sector emissions of 34% compared to 2001.

 

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Mobile Laser System (MLS) applied to urban tree inventory

In urbanized Western Europe trees are considered an important component of the built-up environment. This also means that there is an increasing demand for tree inventories. Laser mobile mapping systems provide an efficient and accurate way to sample the 3D road surrounding including notable roadside trees. In this research line, a processing chain aiming at the extraction of tree locations and tree sizes from laser mobile mapping data is reached.

 

  • Vegetation extraction

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  • Tree parameter extraction

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Such steps, in combination with code optimization are expected to be sufficient to reach the final goal of automatized estimation of features sampled by mobile mapping at a rate that matches the acquisition speed and at a quality that matches the result of a human operator.

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