The UK is a nation of sports lovers and has played host to many iconic sporting events over the last 50 years. 2012 saw the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Ninety per cent of the UK population watched BBC coverage of the Olympics, with 52 million people tuning in for at least 15 minutes. Leica Geosystems also had a part to play in shaping the Olympic legacy.
Leica HDS laser scanners and Cyclone software were used to aid in the accurate and timely construction of the new East London Olympic Stadium – the centrepiece venue of the 2012 summer games. The 80,000 seat stadium is designed and constructed so that it can be readily modified after the games to a smaller capacity venue for other events.
Construction of the East London Olympic stadium involved 224 structural components (up to 3’6″ in diameter) weighing over 2,400 tons, covering an area 1033′ x 840′, and up to 197′ high. Critical to construction success was fast, accurate dimensional control of prefabricated elements with their mating surfaces and holes – all checked during construction to enable modifications on-the-fly as needed. Leica Geosystems worked closely with ABA Surveying to carry out the scanning and modelling work. The benefits of scanning were fast, remote, accurate, and complete data capture that enabled accurate 3D models to be created of each structure and mating scenario. Scanning provided an easy QC means for comparing design with actual construction, doing “virtual fit-up analysis”, and it also avoided the need for unplanned return visits to capture additional information.
Leica Geosystems has for many years been involved with sporting events worldwide. In 2000 Leica Geosystems total stations were deployed to measure jumping and throwing distances in Sydney’s new stadium. A new generation of laser surveying instruments were introduced to focus automatically on the exact landing point and measure the distance at the speed of light. Distances can be determined significantly faster, more accurately and more reliably.
In 1996 Leica Geosystems was also present at the Atlantic Olympic Games. Leica Total Stations were used to check the distance achieved by a discus thrower and a long jump specialist. This software is now available as an ‘App’ on the latest Leica Viva range of instruments.