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NEWS | Sept. 30, 2022

AFCEC GIO partners with JB MDL to collect data

By Airman Simonne Barker Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center Geo-Integration Office and the 502nd Air Base Wing visited Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst the week of September 26, 2022 to collaborate with the 787th Civil Engineering squadron. Together they performed and demonstrated high resolution imagery and 3D modeling of multiple hangars at Lakehurst. They accomplished this using small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology.

Multiple hangars at Lakehurst need repairs and some warrant demolition due to their old age. The LiDAR technology uses eye-safe laser beams to accurately survey these hangars in 3D. The sUAS, commonly known as drones, are more efficient in capturing the imagery needed for a full data analysis. What would take weeks with a team of people, only takes hours with the use of drones. This innovative method saves time, money and contributes to a safer work environment.

“We have two hangars that are structurally compromised and in order to properly demolish them we have to work with the state historic preservation office to provide them digital recordation of the facilities,” stated Robert Gullo, the 787th Chief of Geobase/Execution Support. “There’s also a leak coming from the roof of one of the hangars and it’s an extreme safety issue sending people to the top of these buildings.”

The sUAS and LiDAR technology provide a safer way to capture imagery, and the data collected provides a deeper understanding of the problems at hand. The programs have the capability to measure the entire interior and exterior of the building.

“In regards to the hangar with a leak, this technology is capable of simulating water droplets on the roof to see what direction things are flowing,” said Robert Gullo. “Essentially, we’re working smarter, not harder and saving an incredible amount of time.”

Once the data is collected and sent to the state historic preservation office, the joint base will analyze the digital twin of each hanger. The technology is able to digitally preserve the building and display it in full-scale 3D model form. Gullo hopes to collaborate with AFCEC GIO more often to capture the imagery necessary for the joint base and showcase how we use innovative methods to accomplish a task.

“I want to demonstrate more capabilities like this so we can use more emerging technologies,” stated Gullo. “The hope is to have installations build their own programs that AFCEC can then help guide. There are so many applications for this technology and I think we’re just scratching the surface on what’s to come.”