An East Hanover engineering firm is giving Lady Liberty a checkup.
Using its new high-definition laser scanning technology, Matrix New World Engineering is performing an interior conditions survey at the base of the Statue of Liberty, the firm has announced. The survey is part of a renovation project at the monument that includes extensive life and safety upgrades, such as new stairs and elevators, and other improvements.
For the 21-year-old firm, the project is a chance to tackle a unique but high-profile assignment using cutting-edge technology. James Sens, the company’s director of HD surveying and mapping, said the new equipment has allowed him to record millions of data points in the time it would take to record hundreds using a traditional total station.
As a result, the firm will get a clear picture of the dimensions and other data inside the pedestal and base of the iconic statue, Sens said.
“What really ends up happening is that the data points it collects are so dense, so thick or in such magnitude, that it almost looks like a photograph when it’s done,” Sens said, adding that the scanner also collects actual photographs while recording survey data.
The surveying work at the statue began about three weeks ago, he said. Prior to that, the technology has been used for projects such as calculating volume at hazardous waste sites and post-construction surveys on buildings that may have shifted.
Sens said the hardware resembles traditional surveying equipment, in that it’s set up on a tripod. But the technology is still new enough that “only a handful of firms” in New Jersey currently offer survey work using the HD laser scanner, he said.
“We’re trying to forge new territory here,” Sens said.
The renovation project at the Statue of Liberty also calls for installing new mechanical and electrical systems that will control climate and pressure in certain parts of the monument, Matrix New World said in a news release.