Laser scanning is a lot like photography. A 3D scanner is a device that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance for example colour. The collected data can then be used to construct digital, three dimensional (3D) models useful for a wide variety of applications. While a camera collects colour information about surfaces within its field of view, 3D scanners collect distance information about surfaces within its field of view. The “picture” produced by a 3D scanner describes the distance to a surface at each point in the picture. It is important to realize that these machines work on a line of sight. It will almost always take more than one scan to get a complete picture of a room. These scans have to be brought in a common reference system, a process that is usually called alignment or registration, and then merged to create a complete model. This whole process, going from the single range map to the whole model, is usually known as the 3D scanning pipeline.
History and Development of Laser Scanning System
The history of laser technology is over 40 years old; lasers have been knownfor over 30 years and used in practical applications for more than 25 years.The scientific basis of laser technology lies in the realm of atomic physics,more strictly speaking, foundations were laid by the Danish physicist NielsBohr (1913 - theory of the structure of the hydrogen atom) and the GermanAlbert Einstein (1916 - introduction of the concept of stimulated emission) [1, 2]. In 1950, A. Kastler from France proposed optical pumping (creation ofchanges in the distribution of filling of different atomic energy levels as aresult of excitation by light radiation) which earned him the Nobel Prizein physics in 1966 . In the years 1953 to 1954, American scientists from Columbia Univer-sity, Ch. H. Townes and J. Weber, and Soviet researchersN. G. Basov andA. M. Prokhorov, working independently at the Lebedev Institute of Physics,proposed the application of stimulated emission to amplify microwaves. Forthis achievement, Townes, Basov and Prokhorov received the Nobel Prize inphysics in 1964 [1-10]. In 1954, Townes, together with co-workers J. Gorgon and H. Zeiger,applied the concept in practice, utilizing ammonia as the active mediumand building the world’s first wave amplifier in the microwave range (emit-ting radiation of wavelength 12.7 mm) which they calledmaser. This term isderived from the acronym of Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
In 1958, Ch. H. Townes and A. L. Schavlov predicted the possibility ofbuilding a maser for light radiation but the first attempt at its construc-tion in 1959 was unsuccessful . In 1981, A. L. Schavlov received theNobel Prize in physics for his overall contribution to the development of lasers This document presents a personal history of Laser-Scan, as remembered by Paul Hardy (former Chief Programmer, then Product Manager and Principal Consultant) who joined the company as a programmer in 1975, and stayed until the company collapsed in 2003. It includes material from Peter Woodsford (former Managing Director and Chairman) who also joined in 1975. The descriptive section is followed by a list of milestones. Descriptive History
Foundation and first product
Laser-Scan was founded in 1969 by three academics from the Cavendish Laboratories (the Physics department of the University of Cambridge). The senior of the three was Professor Otto Robert Frisch, FRCS, a very eminent physicist. Among his claims to fame was that he coined the names 'chain reaction', and 'nuclear fission' in a paper which laid down the fundamental theory that led to the atom bomb and to nuclear reactors for power generation. The 'Prof' (as he was always known) was an Austrian Jew who had moved to Denmark ahead of the German invasion of Austria, and then again to England, where he took on British nationality. He was a true polymath....
References: Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_scanner
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