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Maine DOT using LIDAR scanner to measure salt in sheds

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 6:12 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - The Maine Department of Transportation is turning to a high-tech tool to better help a low-tech purpose: determine how much salt is in the state’s salt sheds.

The department, under a free trial, is using a fixed LIDAR scanner, which is programmed with the limits of the shed’s foundation and performs scans of the pile to routinely update the amount inside.

DOT officials said part of the test is to see if this can be a cost-saving measure for the state.

“We’ll be using this one scanner this winter. This is a test. The company has provided us this to try out. So, it’s all about the cost benefit. It’s not a cheap technology right now so we have to make sure the cost offsets the benefits we’ll receive from this. So, we’ll be tracking this in the winter,” said Brian Burne of Maine DOT.

LIDAR technology is more often used by ecologists and geologists to study the Earth’s surface.

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