I am a new Structure Sensor user. So new that as I type this, UPS just rang my doorbell to deliver it (not kidding, they just did:smiley:). Over the last few days while waiting, I have been looking around in the forum for posts related to how well the scanner performs outdoors as this is one of my intended uses. It sounds like one of the major issues is that the IR from sunlight can interfere and even overwhelm the IR from the scanner, thus making it difficult to get a usable scan. In other words, a signal-to-noise ratio problem (the signal being the IR from the scanner and the noise being that from the sunlight).
To prevent this, one needs get rid of most of the IR portion of the sunlight illuminating the scene. Our eyes don’t need the IR to see, and the camera doesn’t need the IR to form an image. One way to do this, as some have suggested, is waiting for times when it is overcast, during twilight, or nighttime. This significantly reduces the IR portion of the light illuminating the scene compared to the IR originating from the scanner, improving the signal-to-noise ratio.
I thought about another approach that might be worth considering, that is using transparent IR-blocking plastic film to block the sunlight coming through a window, or illuminating a portion of the scene outdoors. There are many sources of this film. Here is one, for example, that has 5’ to 6’ wide rolls of IR-blocking film (e.g. about $110 for 10’ roll depending on type).
Apex infrared blocking film
I realize that it would be impractical to try to do this for a large area illuminated by sunlight. But with a portable frame of this stuff placed between the sun and the scene it might be possible to capture such a scene in sections. I have not tried this yet, obviously, since I just got my Structure Sensor but I though it might be helpful to someone in a situation where direct sunlight is unavoidable.
Thanks, and now I am going to open my package!