Creating a virtual reality environment with a fusion of sUAS and TLS point-clouds

Dimitrios Bolkas, Jeffrey Chiampi, John Chapman, Vincent F. Pavill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In recent years, immersive virtual reality has been used in disciplines such as engineering, sciences, and education. Point-cloud technologies such as laser scanning and unmanned aerial systems have become important for creating virtual environments. This paper discusses creating virtual environments from 3D point-cloud data suitable for immersive and interactive virtual reality. Both laser scanning and sUAS point-clouds are utilised. These point-clouds are merged using a custom-made algorithm that identifies data gaps in the master dataset (laser scanner) and fills them with data from a slave dataset (sUAS) resulting in a more complete dataset that is used for terrain modelling and 3D modelling of objects. The terrain and 3D objects are then textured with custom-made and free textures to provide a sense of realism in the objects. The created virtual environment is a digital copy of a part of the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus. This virtual environment will be used in immersive and interactive surveying laboratories to assess the role of immersive virtual reality in surveying engineering education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-161
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Image and Data Fusion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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