Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)


Funding code: 02WDG1696

Funding priority: Digital GreenTech – Umwelttechnik trifft Digitalisierung

2023 - 2025

Project partners
Heidelberg University
Prof. Bernhard Höfle

DMT GmbH & Co. KG
Dr. Daniel Czerwonka-Schröder

TU Munich
Prof. Dr. Christoph Holst


AImon5.0 - Real-time monitoring of gravitational mass movements for critical infrastructure risk management with AI-assisted 3D metrology

(Echtzeitüberwachung gravitativer Massenbewegungen zum Risikomanagement kritischer Infrastrukturen mit KI-unterstützter 3D-Metrologie)

This website can be accessed via a short URL: www.uni-heidelberg.de/aimon.


Follow project updates via the GIScience News Blog, on X/Twitter and LinkedIn via #AImon #BMBF and on the central AImon5.0 project website.

Permanent Laser Scanning (PLS) system has been set up: In December 2023 we installed a PLS system at Trier, Germany. The system will continuously monitor a rock outcrop for rockfalls.

Press release: The setup was also featured by SWR.


The Earth's surface is constantly changing. Climate change is altering environmental conditions - for example, more intense and prolonged precipitation is causing more frequent landslides or rockfalls. Such events do not only affect the local population but also central and critical infrastructure. A key tool in integrated risk management is the availability of 4D geo-information. The information is collected through continuous monitoring in near real time. The current state of the art is fixed and autonomous permanent laser scanner (PLS) systems. PLS systems provide huge amounts of data (billions of measurements per day). In order to make PLS systems and 4D (3D + time) analysis methods available for operational use and to limit the big 4D data to the relevant information for decision makers, a new interface between the information needs of the application and the 4D acquisition and analysis is required. For the first time, this will make it possible to use state-of-the-art PLS systems in operational risk monitoring and, with the help of artificial intelligence methods, to find and evaluate specific relevant events (e.g. activation of a slope area) in the huge amounts of data, to follow them in continuous monitoring and to automatically identify new events.

In AImon5.0, our open-source frameworks HELIOS++ and py4dgeo will be combined to enhance current approaches for the automatic extraction and visualization of change from 4D PLS data.

AImon5.0 is an interdisciplinary collaboration project of the 3DGeo research group with DMT GmbH & Co. KG (project leader), TU Munich, Deutsche Bahn Netz AG and Landesamt für Geologie und Bergbau Rheinland Pfalz. The expertise of all partners will be combined to close the gap between research and application of operational risk monitoring.


In this project of the 3DGeo research group Heidelberg the following central research objectives will be addressed:

  • Identify which computer-based methods for automatic information extraction from 4D PLS data and their visualisation are particularly suitable for operational use and how these may have to be adapted and extended in order to deliver reliable and timely results.
  • Investigate and combine two complementary approaches (rule-based 4D change analysis and data-driven approaches using AI and virtual laser scanning) for the automatic extraction of change information.
  • Find out which levels of abstraction and forms of visualization are best suited for certain tasks and also given reaction times.

AImon5.0 will thereby close the gap between existing 4D analysis methods and an operational implementation in a real-time assistance system.

Project partners and their research focuses in the project

DMT GmbH & Co. KG serves as the coordinator of the interdisciplinary research project. Components and services developed by the individual partners will be integrated into a single system.


Heidelberg University

Information extraction and visualization: Development of novel approaches and tools for the automatic extraction of relevant change information from 4D PLS data and for the visualization of extracted change information for end users.


DMT GmbH & Co. KG (project leader)

System implementation: Implementation and demonstration of 4D PLS system and development of a web-based information tool for monitoring, data management and visualization of results in near-realtime.


TU Munich

Data quality and analysis: Development of methods for the quantification and reduction of uncertainty in 4D PLS data and for the detection and geometric parametrization of change.

Press and Media

2024-03-07: Trierer Roter Fels wird mit Lasern vermessen (SWR)
2023-12-15: Permanent Laser Scanning (PLS) setup at Trier, Germany

2023-12-15: Der Felsvermesser: Sein Laser sichert Trierer Steilwand (German press release, SWR)
Related Projects
  • HELIOS++: Heidelberg LiDAR Operations Simulator.
  • py4dgeo: Open source Python library for geographic change analysis in 4D point cloud data.
  • 4D Objects-By-Change: Change Analysis of Natural Surfaces using 3D Time Series.
  • CharAct4D: Unravelling Landscape Dynamics via Automatic Characterization of Surface Activity using Geographic 4D Monitoring.
  • VirtuaLearn3D: Virtual Laser Scanning for Machine Learning Algorithms in Geographic 3D Point Cloud. Analysis
Related Publications
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