Laser Scanning Results from the 2013 Portus Field School
During the 2013 excavation season I completed a number of laser scan models of the site, adding to the already completed laser scan models collected in 2012 at the Palazzo Imperiale.
The main focus of the 2013 season was trialling a new scanner, the Faro Focus 3D, to see how the advancements in scanning time and accuracy could aid our recording of the site.
In total I was able to record 250 individual scans over a three week period, that culminated in precise recordings of the Palazzo Imperiale, notably Building 1, the cryptoporticus on the western façade of the complex, and the storage rooms on its southern side overlooking the Trajanic basin, and the 2013 excavations within Building 8 – which was completed by the staff and students of the Portus Field School. In addition the Terme della Lanterna was completely scanned.
The Faro focus, when compared to the Leica Scanstation Two and C10 previously used on site, allowed for a far greater data collection rate. In the 2012 I was able to capture 57 scans over a two week period using the C10 and was thus limited to certain sections of the site as I simply didn’t have the time to record them.
The ability to create a 360 degree laser scan model within one scan in 10 minutes at an accuracy of 3mm at a 10m range, greatly helped the team at Portus in recording the position of buildings and in identifying key architectural features that would otherwise have been missed using traditional means.
The use of laser scanning allows for a lasting representation of the site as it currently is, in turn allowing future researchers to study the site, without having to travel there. It likewise proved useful in recording the excavation process, with key areas of the 2013 excavation recorded during and after to save time in documenting the entirety of the site using simple 2D drawings.
The 2013 scanning work also re-examined past scanning that took place and with a newer, faster and more accurate laser scanner, it was decided to make updated models of the 2007 scans completed by the University of Southampton’s Geography department. The Faro Focus offered a greater point density within the overall scan model and therefore the newer model is at a high resolution. The scanner, likewise enables better calibration of colour within the scan data, creating a model that is both accurate in terms of spacing and texture which adds to the overall realistic element needed for our study of the site.
There is more work to be done at Portus, with more areas to be recorded, but 2013 saw the first use of the Faro Focus 3D and we hope over subsequent years, that we will be able to benefit from this great tool to create a full reconstruction of the site as it currently is.
Below are a few examples of the already completed scan work.