Professor Kamal Sarabandi, of Electrical Engingeering and Computer Science, and student Samuel Cook were looking into the accuracy of sonar equipment and came to the 3D Lab for assistance with visualizing their data. Their goal was to generate an accurate to scale 3D model of the EECS atrium that would be used to align their data to a physical space.
The UM3D Lab’s Stephanie O’Malley and student consultant, Maggie Miller, used precise measurements and photo reference provided by Sam to re-create the atrium in 3D Studio Max. The point cloud data produced by their sonar was then exported as a *.PTS file, and brought into Autodesk Recap to quickly determine if everything appeared correct. When viewing point cloud data from the sonar, any significant gaps in the cloud indicate an obstruction, such as furniture, plants, or people.
Using the origin of the sonar device positioned on the second floor balcony, the data was aligned to the scene, and colored appropriately. When the images produced by the sonar were aligned with the re-created EECS atrium, they were able to see the sonar picking up large objects such as benches or posts because those areas did not produce data points. Professor Sarabandi’s research focus encompasses a wide range of topics in the area of applied electromagnetics. The visualization efforts of the 3D lab assisted in furthering his research by helping to improve the accuracy of their radar.
Article by Kari Simonsen