EMerald Geomodelling's geotechnical studies take off
EMerald Geomodelling, in partnership with SkyTEM, SDU and NGI, has secured Eurostars funding for a £1.44 million development project, which will help finance the development of a drone-based system and piloting with strategic partners over the next 30 months.
A technology company that specialises in revealing unknown ground conditions to help large-scale infrastructure projects reduce the need for intrusive ground investigations, Emerald Geomodelling aims to provide the missing link between complex geophysical and sparse geotechnical data.
Utilising airborne geoscanning and machine learning, the company provides its clients full 3D coverage with quantified scanning for their project, a statement explains. The funding comes from the Eurostars programme, which is a joint venture between EUREKA and the European Commission to support innovative projects led by research and development performing small and medium-sized enterprises (R&D performing SMEs), supported by the European Union through Horizon 2020. EMerald Geomodelling ranked as 15th out of 384 applications.
“Globally, 90 percent of infrastructure projects encounter cost overruns of 20-50 percent. This is costing society unacceptable amounts of time and money. A lack of thorough geological understanding is frequently identified as a key factor, but EMerald and SkyTem are now set to address this challenge,” the company says.
“Today our services are based on airborne geoscanning from helicopters. In the near future, our aim is to develop the solution further to use drones. Integrating a high-resolution ground investigation workflow consisting of a geoscanning system carried by a UAV, machine- learning-based data integration and a drastically reduced invasive sampling program, will increase sustainability for the construction sector,” it adds.
On average, the company can reduce the total geotechnical investigation costs on a project by 30 percent. “Leveraging the drone-based technology will make us able to fly closer to the ground which will increase both the accuracy of our measurements and increase resolution in the first meters of the subsurface,” it adds.
At present, the helicopter-based method of geoscanning has a high entry cost and comparatively low resolution, which limits the ROI for small infrastructure projects that depend on high accuracy and have limited ground investigation budgets.
Therefore, the introduction of UAV-based workflow will help bridge this gap, with the solution being lower cost, faster and better in terms of accuracy and resolution.
“Faster, better and cheaper is usually the typical wish that can’t be fulfilled, but with the change from a half-a-ton helicopter sensor to some dozen kilos on a drone we can make this dream reality”, says Andi Pfaffhuber, CEO of EMerald Geomodelling.
“Our vision is to extend our resource saving workflow from large linear infrastructure projects to all infrastructure developments that today suffer under unsustainable traditional workflows” he continues.
“When the product is fully developed, we aim to scale it to become a new standard for any geotechnical investigating. This scaling will hopefully enable us to reduce the cost of our services by one order of magnitude making it accessible for almost any project,” he adds, explaining that this development will increases the sustainability of infrastructure investments, both in terms of costs and carbon emissions, in addition to make the solution easier to use in smaller projects.
XCMG launches crane simulator for wind turbine training
Leading Chinese manufacturer of construction machinery, XCMG, has launched a virtual crane simulator to help train operatives in the installation of wind turbines. The new simulator, based on the company’s XC A1600 all-terrain crane, aims to help prepare 500 drivers for the role.
Wang Min, Chairman and CEO of XCMG, said: "In the actual scale 3D scene, the system enables operators to easily master essential skills, quickly and accurately through truly simulated visual, auditory and tactile senses. The fully immersive experience makes operator training more professional, precise, convenient, and efficient by integrating video presentations, VR helmets, digital gloves, and more.”
How does the simulator help train crane operators and what features enable it to achieve this?
As the first large crane simulator of its kind, XCMG’s XC A1600 trainer features realistic representations of the crane’s cabin, control unit, display, and control panel. The system also realises the virtual integration and operation of six major working conditions, breaking several technical barriers of super lift and luffing jib simulators.
Updating the simulator for 2020, XCMG’s crane trainer now also features computer programs for the telescopic system, dual cylinder head display, and controls. The upgrade also includes switching off different products and programs to allow training on lifting weights between 800 and 1,600 tonnes.
The construction of onshore and offshore wind turbines in China
According to national power industry statistics issued by China’s National Energy Administration last year, construction of both onshore and offshore wind power projects nearly tripped over the 12-month period.
Figures hit a new record of 71.67GW with China’s wind power expected to increase by a further 30-50mn kilowatts over the next three years., according to the China Energy Development report 2020 published by China Electric Power Planning & Engineering Institute. The findings of the report highlighted the demand for labour in the installation of wind turbines.
A total of 1,520 classes of large and super-tonnage crane operators have been trained by XCMG, as they look to take the lead in major construction projects across China.