Virginia Tech®home
Sesquicentennial website

Surface Characterization

A Form Talysurf S3F stylus profilometer with ULTRA software is capable of profiling lengths of 50 mm and measuring departures of up to 2 mm with a resolution of 3 nm.  It has a built-in anti-aliasing filter and has a variety of high and low pass filters available for post-processing surface profiles.

Image Processing and Analysis.  Our image processing and analysis equipment provides capabilities for almost any need in microstructural analysis.  Microstructure samples are imaged using a Leica GZ6 stereo optical microscope coupled to a Sony CCD camera.  The microscope has accessory 1.5X and 2.0X objectives that provide magnifications of up to 40X when combined with the built in objective.  Surfaces are illuminated with either ring light or high intensity fiber optic spot lights with fully adjustable intensity ranges.  Image Pro Plus and NIH Image software packages are used for image processing and analysis.

High-resolution digital images are acquired in the field with a Sony and two Nikon D100 5 mega-pixel digital cameras.  These are used to capture images for processing into 3D point clouds and texture mapped surfaces.

Microstructure Sample Preparation.  A Buhler Ecomet 3 variable speed grinder-polisher with an Automet 2 computer controlled power head is used for preparation of rock specimens and impregnated soil specimens for physical testing, characterization, or image analysis.  A wet saw is available with the capabilities to cut all sizes of specimens.

Remote Sensing.  Optech 3D laser scanner (LiDAR) that can be mounted to either the surveying tripod or a specially developed tilt table.  Point clouds are visualized and quantitative measurements made using gVT, a visualization computer program developed at Virginia Tech.

LaserAce 300 Laser Surveying System with Horizontal Angle Encoder, lightweight dome-head tripod with adapter plate. IPaq post processing software.  System interfaces to laptop computer via serial cable.  This system can measure horizontal distances without targeting, up to 5 km at an accuracy of 10 cm.  Horizontal and vertical angles can be measured to 0.1 degree.