LiDAR for Indoor Roller Coasters

July 28, 2020

Did you know that light detection and ranging (LiDAR) scanning can be used to measure dimensions for indoor roller coasters?

In Tennessee, one of Dollywood‘s original roller coasters, Blazing Fury, needed to be renovated and several sections of track needed to be replaced. The track manufacturer was overseas, and Dollywood needed accurate dimensions to provide to the manufacturer for prefabrication of the replacement track segments.

LiDAR for The Blazing Fury at Dollywood

Our CEC Knoxville team provided LiDAR scanning for approximately 600 feet of roller coaster track during the off season so that there would be minimal impact to visitors. In addition, we created 3D CAD models that were delivered to the track manufacturer for fabrication. The steel tracks had to be bent using proprietary methods with an extremely tight tolerance to fit the existing supports. The model was a success, leading to an exact fit replacement track for the project. The model was key to eliminate costly rework and expenses involved.

Our efforts with this coaster led to a complete scan of its sister coaster (Fire in the Hole) in Silver Dollar City, Missouri, for its complete replacement of 1,500 feet of track, as well as further scanning projects within Dollywood for similar prefabrication efforts on other park rides.

Interested in learning more? Contact Chris Foster ( of CEC Knoxville.

About the Author

CEC Staff

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) provides comprehensive market-oriented consulting services to advance client strategic business objectives. CEC is recognized for delivering innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in air quality, civil engineering, ecological sciences, environmental engineering and sciences, manufacturing infrastructure services, survey/geospatial, waste management, and water resources.

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