Scour Analysis and Sediment Transport



Scour Analysis and Sediment Transport

Company: Genex Systems
Industry: Research
Vehicle Used: Robotic arm mounted on an automated carriage
Voyis Products Used: Insight Nano

Summary: Genex Systems trialled and ultimately purchased a Voyis Insight Nano underwater laser scanner. The objective of the trials was to gauge the capabilities of the Insight Nano, specifically for bridge scour experiments and sediment transport analysis. The testing was done inside a flume tank.

The Project

The Insight Nano was used to scan small dolosse on the floor of the channel to capture the contour perimeter between the dolosse and the highly erodible channel bed. Understanding this contour is useful for monitoring the performance of scour countermeasures, such as dolosse or riprap, in the lab. Oscar Suaznabar from Genex noted that compared to a photo, “the laser scanning data made it notably easier to understand the contouring.” 

By scanning while underwater, Genex was able to maintain the integrity of the experiment environment, thus providing more accurate results. Traditional methods of analysis would require the flume tank to be drained prior to scanning the newly formed/Experimental results on the bed of the tank. By draining the water from the flume, you introduce an element of error as the results become compromised due to the introduction of additional water flow outside of the controlled experiment.  

Another traditional method for capturing bed bathymetry is a distance sensor method using a single-point laser. However, with this approach measuring even small areas in the range of 0.9 to 4 metres can take upwards of days. With Voyis’ laser scanners, high-resolution measurement data can be obtained in minutes. Unlike the distance sensor method, Voyis’ laser scanners generate complete true-scale 3D models from which measurements can be precisely obtained. “The [Insight Nano] produced a stunning footprint laser line resolution of 0.83mm” says Suaznabar.

The system has proven to be a very advanced, easy to operate device and has shown excellent performance… before to measure an area was a matter of days. With the [Insight Nano], measurements are a matter of minutes.

Oscar Suaznabar

Research Hydraulic Engineer, Genex Systems

The Process


The Insight Nano was attached to a robotic arm which was mounted on an automated carriage which allows the robot to move along the channel length


The laser scanner was operated in Profile Mode and the moving direction for each run (scan) is always along the channel cross section

Final Results

The Insight Nano was used for the generation of a full-length flume model to be built up in one scan. By performing a single scan, there is no need to stich multiple scans together in post processing, saving a significant amount of time.  

Laser Line Resolution

Scanning Speed

Scour analysis and Sediment Transport


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