Creating a High-Fidelity Interactive Simulation of the Timpanogos Cave System from a Terabyte-Scale Terrestrial LiDAR Dataset
AuthorLaSala, Blase Nichols
AdvisorKemeny, John M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis presents an “end to end” workflow that documents the steps taken to create an interactive high-resolution simulation of the Timpanogos Cave System. The majority of the cave system, including areas that are not open to the public such as sensitive crawlways and pits, has been digitally reconstructed at resolutions high enough for users to see sub-centimeter formations that the caves are famous for, such as soda straws and helictites. This application, which renders the cave in real time and is optimized to run on consumer level hardware using a computer game rendering engine, has been designed to be used for public outreach and research, and is compatible with both flat screens and virtual reality head mounted displays. After describing the site and motivations for creating this application, all steps of the project are covered and justified. These steps include budget planning and scope, equipment selection, data collection methodology, pointcloud processing, and implementation. A novel approach to converting clouds exceeding several billion points into a simulation, using high performance computing (HPC) solutions, python scripting, and an open source meshing algorithm is also presented. A final application allowing visitors to explore the caves from the National Monument’s visitor center will be installed in 2020. In addition, a discussion on future features planned, possible improvements to the workflow via automation, and alternative uses for interactive applications beyond a virtual cave tour are covered. User interface developments to make the simulation compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act are also touched on.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining Geological & Geophysical Engineering