Fossett Lab Services

The Fossett Lab has built a collection of resources that are available for use by members of the Washington University community to further their research activities. This includes several drone and sensor packages for aerial or ground-based imagery or spatial data collection, GNSS devices to quantify point locations, and Microsoft HoloLens devices for data visualization. We also provide access to support staff who can provide field data collection, data processing, and visualization services. The Fossett Lab is operated as a recharge facility and is open to all current WashU faculty. Equipment or service arrangements will be formalized under our User Agreement and are available according to this rate schedule.

Available equipment and services are described below, please contact Bill Winston or Dr. Phil Skemer to discuss access and scheduling.

Data Visualization

The lab offers visualization using 7 HoloLens I, augmented reality headsets. These devices can be used individually or as a group to provide shared experiences with virtual objects placed in the room. Digital 3D models of objects, buildings, and even landscapes can be displayed, scaled, and manipulated to allow detailed inspection from any perspective. We have also developed applications to address specific subject areas including:

  • CrystalViewer – an app that allows the exploration of atomic mineral structures
  • GeoExplorer – a platform for visualizing 3D 1:1 scale outcrops from around the world

The shared visualization experience enabled in our lab is unique in that it allows a group to view the same virtual model in the same space, scale, and orientation. This experience facilitates group discussion and understanding by ensuring that everyone is focused on the same features and allowing individual exploration to occur.

Data Collection Resources

We offer access to various geospatial data collection equipment including GNSS receivers, drone based cameras, and a LiDAR sensor.  These resources are available for independent field usage by qualified operators or Fossett Lab staff can accompany the equipment and handle operations.

Drone Data Collection

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are commonly referred to as drones and the Fossett Lab has several in our inventory. These platforms are used to fly sensor packages that enable the collection of aerial images, multi-spectral images, and LiDAR point clouds.

  • Quantum Trinity F90+ – Our newest drone is a fixed-wing VTOL model that is equipped with a 42.4 megapixel camera.  We also have a multispectral camera on backorder.
  • DJI Phantom 4 RTK – This model includes the capability to incorporate real-time kinematic GNSS corrections in the field. The device also features a multispectral camera with sensors in 5 different spectral ranges and RGB.
  • DJI Phantom 3 – This drone is equipped with a 12MP camera and collects images that can be processed using photogrammetry to produce digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthophoto images.

GNSS Equipment

Identifying exactly where things are is an important part of most research projects. GNSS devices enable the collection of accurate coordinates for field sampling sites, defined boundaries of study areas, or the location of cultural or physical features. Most cell phones enable the collection of GPS data to accuracies approaching 3-5 meters. When more rigorous standards are required, dedicated GNSS equipment like our Emlid units can yield cm scale results.