AlpS GmbH

Innsbruck, Austria

AlpS GmbH

Innsbruck, Austria
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Jaksch S.,AlpS GmbH | Franke A.,AlpS GmbH | Treberspurg M.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
WCTE 2016 - World Conference on Timber Engineering | Year: 2016

The growth of metropolitan areas is progressing worldwide. According to recent projections, the city of Vienna will grow by 250,000 inhabitants and reach a total of 2 million inhabitants by 2030. Supplementary residential spaces have to be developed - not only by creating new urban quarters, but also through refurbishment and urban densification. Most urban development strategies include attic extensions as an important means to increase urban density. Due to their low housing density, Vienna's municipality buildings ("Gemeindebauten") of the 1950s to 1970s seem especially suitable for such measures. Using timber as a regionally available and environmentally sustainable material provides additional ecological and economic advantages. Our objective is the development of a system for attic extensions based on industrially prefabricated timber elements with integrated renewable energy systems. This system shall facilitate large-scale urban densification in Vienna - and elsewhere.

Bremer M.,alpS GmbH | Bremer M.,University of Innsbruck | Wichmann V.,alpS GmbH | Rutzinger M.,Austrian Academy of Sciences
Remote Sensing | Year: 2017

Canopy density measures such as the Leaf Area Index (LAI) have become standardized mapping products derived from airborne and terrestrial Light Detection And Ranging (aLiDAR and tLiDAR, respectively) data. A specific application of LiDAR point clouds is their integration into radiative transfer models (RTM) of varying complexity. Using, e.g., ray tracing, this allows flexible simulations of sub-canopy light condition and the simulation of various sensors such as virtual hemispherical images or waveform LiDAR on a virtual forest plot. However, the direct use of LiDAR data in RTMs shows some limitations in the handling of noise, the derivation of surface areas per LiDAR point and the discrimination of solid and porous canopy elements. In order to address these issues, a strategy upgrading tLiDAR and Digital Hemispherical Photographs (DHP) into plausible 3D architectural canopy models is suggested. The presented reconstruction workflow creates an almost unbiased virtual 3D representation of branch and leaf surface distributions, minimizing systematic errors due to the object-sensor relationship. The models are calibrated and validated using DHPs. Using the 3D models for simulations, their capabilities for the description of leaf density distributions and the simulation of aLiDAR and DHP signatures are shown. At an experimental test site, the suitability of the models, in order to systematically simulate and evaluate aLiDAR based LAI predictions under various scan settings is proven. This strategy makes it possible to show the importance of laser point sampling density, but also the diversity of scan angles and their quantitative effect onto error margins. © 2017 by the authors.

Sabine Marie P.,University of Innsbruck | Sabine Marie P.,AlpS GmbH | Pumpel T.,University of Innsbruck | Markt R.,University of Innsbruck | And 4 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2015

Six methodologically different approaches were evaluated and compared regarding their suitability to quantify and characterise granular anammox biomass. The investigated techniques were gravimetric analysis (GA), activity measurements (AM), Coulter counter analysis (CC), quantitative PCR (qPCR), heme protein quantification (HQ) and the novel image analysis technique Particle Tracking (PT). The focus was set on the development of fast, economic and user-friendly approaches for potential implementation in regular wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) monitoring. To test the effectiveness of each technique, two sample matrices were chosen at the WWTP Strass (Austria): i) sludge liquor of the DEMON® tank, treating ammonium-rich reject water of anaerobic digestion via the deammonification process and rich in anammox biomass (SL), and ii) the mainstream biological stage, that has been enriched with anammox biomass for more than two years (B). In both of these plants hydro-cyclones are installed for density-fractioning of the sludge into a low- and a high-density fraction, thus leading to a characteristic anammox distribution in the investigated sample set. All investigated methods could statistically discriminate the SL samples. Heme quantification and qPCR were also able to correctly classify the B-samples and both methods showed a Pearson's correlation coefficient of 0.81. An asset of the PT and CC method is the additional qualitative characterization of granule size distribution that can help to better understand and optimise general process operation (cyclone operation duration and construction characteristics). In combination these two methods were able to elucidate the relationship of gross granule volume and actual biomass, excluding the dead volume of inner cavities and exopolymers. We found a linear sphere-equivalent-radius correction factor (3.96±0.15) for investigated anammox granules, that can be used for the fast and reliable PT technique to avoid biomass overestimation. We also recommend routine HQ and PT analysis as ideal monitoring strategy for anammox abundance in wastewater facilities with the HQ technique entailing the further advantage of being also suited for non-granular anammox biomass. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Bremer M.,University of Innsbruck | Rutzinger M.,University of Innsbruck | Rutzinger M.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | Wichmann V.,AlpS GmbH
ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

The architecture of trees is of particular interest for 3D model creation in forestry and ecolocical applications. Terrestrial (TLS) and mobile laser scanning (MLS) systems are used to acquire detailed geometrical data of trees. Since 3D point clouds from laser scanning consist of large data amounts representing uninterpreted topographical information including noise and data gaps, an extraction of salient tree structures is important for further applications. We present a fully automated modular workflow for topological reliable reconstruction of tree architecture. Object-based point cloud processing such as branch extraction is combined with tree skeletonization. Branch extraction is performed using a segmentation procedure followed by segment-based analysis of form indices derived from eigenvector metrics. Extracted branch primitives are simplified and connected to line features during skeletonization. The modular workflow allows comprehensive parameter tests and error assessments that are used for a calibration of the module parameters with respect to various characteristics of the input data (e.g noise, scanning resolution, and the number of scan positions). The estimated parameter settings are validated using an exemplary MLS data set. The quality of input point cloud data, strongly influencing the quality of the skeleton results, can be improved by the presented branch extraction procedure. The potential for data improvement increases with increasing point densities. For our object-based appoach, we can show that the presence of erroneous structures and filtering artifacts have the strongest influence onto the quality of the derived skeletons. In contrast to traditional skeletonization approaches, the existance of data gaps has less influence onto the results. © 2013 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. (ISPRS).

Ragg H.,University of Innsbruck | Fey C.,AlpS GmbH
GIM International | Year: 2013

The UAS technology based on a multicopter enables a rockslide to be monitored at an altitude of 2,900m. The area to be monitored is part of a famous trekking trail in the Alps near Vent/Sölden in Austria, threatened by active rockslides and formation of crevices. The site covers an area measuring 900m by 400m, and the altitudes vary from 2,450m to 2,850m. Both were easily transportable, which was important since accessing the remote location entailed hiking for three hours. Both were capable of operating in Alpine conditions. Fixed-wing UASs can stay in the air longer than multi-rotor ones and capture larger sites, but they also need launch and landing space which is rare in mountainous regions, which is why the multicopter was chosen. UAS technology is valuable for monitoring natural hazards in Alpine environments. Flight planning and collision checks are key factors in ensuring a safe and successful flight mission.

Cammerer H.,University of Innsbruck | Thieken A.H.,University of Potsdam | Lammel J.,AlpS GmbH | Lammel J.,TIWAG Tiroler Wasserkraft AG
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2013

Flood loss modeling is an important component within flood risk assessments. Traditionally, stage-damage functions are used for the estimation of direct monetary damage to buildings. Although it is known that such functions are governed by large uncertainties, they are commonly applied - even in different geographical regions - without further validation, mainly due to the lack of real damage data. Until now, little research has been done to investigate the applicability and transferability of such damage models to other regions. In this study, the last severe flood event in the Austrian Lech Valley in 2005 was simulated to test the performance of various damage functions from different geographical regions in Central Europe for the residential sector. In addition to common stage-damage curves, new functions were derived from empirical flood loss data collected in the aftermath of recent flood events in neighboring Germany. Furthermore, a multi-parameter flood loss model for the residential sector was adapted to the study area and also evaluated with official damage data. The analysis reveals that flood loss functions derived from related and more similar regions perform considerably better than those from more heterogeneous data sets of different regions and flood events. While former loss functions estimate the observed damage well, the latter overestimate the reported loss clearly. To illustrate the effect of model choice on the resulting uncertainty of damage estimates, the current flood risk for residential areas was calculated. In the case of extreme events like the 300 yr flood, for example, the range of losses to residential buildings between the highest and the lowest estimates amounts to a factor of 18, in contrast to properly validated models with a factor of 2.3. Even if the risk analysis is only performed for residential areas, our results reveal evidently that a carefree model transfer in other geographical regions might be critical. Therefore, we conclude that loss models should at least be selected or derived from related regions with similar flood and building characteristics, as far as no model validation is possible. To further increase the general reliability of flood loss assessment in the future, more loss data and more comprehensive loss data for model development and validation are needed. © 2013 Author(s).

Haida C.,alpS GmbH | Haida C.,University of Innsbruck | Rudisser J.,University of Innsbruck | Tappeiner U.,University of Innsbruck | Tappeiner U.,Institute for Alpine Environment
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2015

Facing the challenges of global and regional changes, society urgently needs applicable and broadly accepted tools to effectively manage and protect ecosystem services (ES). This requires knowing which ES are perceived as important. We asked decision-makers from different thematic backgrounds to rank 25 ES on the basis of their importance for society. To test whether perceptions are varying across regions, we surveyed three Alpine regions in Austria and Italy. The ranking of importance showed a high variability amongst experts but was not influenced by region or thematic background. ES that satisfy physiological needs (‘fresh water’, ‘food’, ‘air quality regulation’) were indicated as most important. ES that relate to safety and security needs were ranked in the middle field, whereas cultural ES were perceived as less important. We used principal component analysis (PCA) to identify ES bundles based on perception of importance. In order to investigate whether research intensity follows the perceived importance, we related the interviews with a comprehensive literature review. ‘Global climate regulation’, ‘food’, ‘biodiversity’, ‘fresh water’ and ‘water quality’ were studied most often. Although ‘habitat’, ‘energy’, ‘primary production’, ‘tourism’, ‘water cycle’, and ‘local climate regulation’ were ranked as important by decision-makers, they did not receive corresponding research attention. We conclude that more interaction between research and stakeholders is needed to promote a broader application and understanding of the ES concept in practice. The use of ES bundles could help to manage its inherent complexity and facilitate its application. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

PubMed | alpS GmbH and University of Innsbruck
Type: | Journal: Waste management (New York, N.Y.) | Year: 2016

Although the mechanical treatment of source separated organic waste typically includes processing steps to remove impurities like plastic bags, smaller particles like glass, stones or sand are often not sufficiently removed. These particles lead to plant malfunctions, increased equipment abrasion and accumulation in the digester. It is possible to remove these small impurities before or during the fermentation process but this requires additional equipment at the waste treatment facilities. For pretreated biowaste with fairly low concentrations of impurities and small particle sizes no appropriate method was found in literature to determine these particles. Therefore various approaches to develop an appropriate method were tested and finally one method was selected. Sample mass calculation showed that for the determination of impurities >2mm a sample mass of about 6kg is required to receive statistically sound result. Firstly an elutriation step is used to concentrate the impurities in a sinking fraction, still containing some organic material. The elutriated material is then dried. After drying the elutriated material, impurities can be fairly easily sorted manually. The elutriation process is applicable for the determination of impurities >1mm. Due to the difficult manual sorting of particles <2mm and the reduced sample mass required for the determination of particles <2mm, these particles are determined by a different procedure: A sample mass of about 1kg is dried and combusted in a muffle furnace. The remaining ashes are sieved from 2 to 0.06mm. Particles <0.06mm were not considered as impurities. The data regarding the impurities content and particle size distribution in food- and biowaste are required for assessing separation options as well as the behavior of stones or sand in the digester. This allows describing the quality of the pretreated biowaste. Furthermore the need to adopt or improve the existing pretreatment can be identified and the impact to the fermentation process (impurities accumulated in the digester, etc.) can be evaluated.

Scharf A.,Free University of Berlin | Handy M.R.,Free University of Berlin | Favaro S.,Free University of Berlin | Schmid S.M.,Free University of Berlin | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2013

The Tauern Window exposes a Paleogene nappe stack consisting of highly metamorphosed oceanic (Alpine Tethys) and continental (distal European margin) thrust sheets. In the eastern part of this window, this nappe stack (Eastern Tauern Subdome, ETD) is bounded by a Neogene system of shear (the Katschberg Shear Zone System, KSZS) that accommodated orogen-parallel stretching, orogen-normal shortening, and exhumation with respect to the structurally overlying Austroalpine units (Adriatic margin). The KSZS comprises a ≤5-km-thick belt of retrograde mylonite, the central segment of which is a southeast-dipping, low-angle extensional shear zone with a brittle overprint (Katschberg Normal Fault, KNF). At the northern and southern ends of this central segment, the KSZS loses its brittle overprint and swings around both corners of the ETD to become subvertical, dextral, and sinistral strike-slip faults. The latter represent stretching faults whose displacements decrease westward to near zero. The kinematic continuity of top-east to top-southeast ductile shearing along the central, low-angle extensional part of the KSZS with strike-slip shearing along its steep ends, combined with maximum tectonic omission of nappes of the ETD in the footwall of the KNF, indicates that north-south shortening, orogen-parallel stretching, and normal faulting were coeval. Stratigraphic and radiometric ages constrain exhumation of the folded nappe complex in the footwall of the KSZS to have begun at 23-21 Ma, leading to rapid cooling between 21 and 16 Ma. This exhumation involved a combination of tectonic unroofing by extensional shearing, upright folding, and erosional denudation. The contribution of tectonic unroofing is greatest along the central segment of the KSZS and decreases westward to the central part of the Tauern Window. The KSZS formed in response to the indentation of wedge-shaped blocks of semi-rigid Austroalpine basement located in front of the South-Alpine indenter that was part of the Adriatic microplate. Northward motion of this indenter along the sinistral Giudicarie Belt offsets the Periadriatic Fault and triggered rapid exhumation of orogenic crust within the entire Tauern Window. Exhumation involved strike-slip and normal faulting that accommodated about 100 km of orogen-parallel extension and was contemporaneous with about 30 km of orogen-perpendicular, north-south shortening of the ETD. Extension of the Pannonian Basin related to roll-back subduction in the Carpathians began at 20 Ma, but did not affect the Eastern Alps before about 17 Ma. The effect of this extension was to reduce the lateral resistance to eastward crustal flow away from the zone of greatest thickening in the Tauern Window area. Therefore, we propose that roll-back subduction temporarily enhanced rather than triggered exhumation and orogen-parallel motion in the Eastern Alps. Lateral extrusion and orogen-parallel extension in the Eastern Alps have continued from 12 to 10 Ma to the present and are driven by northward push of Adria. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Hartmeyer I.,alpS GmbH | Keuschnig M.,alpS GmbH | Keuschnig M.,University of Salzburg | Schrott L.,University of Salzburg
Austrian Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2012

Within the research project MOREXPERT ('Developing a Monitoring Expert System for Hazardous Rock Walls') a new study site for long-term bedrock permafrost monitoring has been initiated. Surface and subsurface thermal conditions in steep rock faces are monitored based on a combination of borehole, geophysical and meteorological measurements. MOREXPERT was launched in September 2010, the study area is located at the Kitzsteinhorn (3.203 m; 47°11'17" N, 12°41'15" E), Hohe Tauern Range, Austria. Within the research project ground thermal conditions are monitored on three complementary scale levels: the 'borehole scale', the 'slope scale' and the 'mountain scale'. At each scale level ground thermal conditions are studied applying different methodical approaches and, therefore, with different spatial and temporal resolutions. At the 'borehole scale' five deep boreholes provide ground temperatures from depths of up to 30 m. At the 'slope scale' data from two ERT (Electrical Resistivity Tomography) arrays are used to derive information on ground thermal conditions. At the 'mountain scale' spatially distributed temperature measurements with miniature loggers in a maximum depth of 80 cm deliver information on the heterogeneity of near-surface rock temperatures. The introduced scale-oriented monitoring approach explicitly takes into account the high lateral and vertical variability of ground temperatures in high-alpine rock faces. Complementary analysis of data obtained at different scale levels allows (constrained) validation and extrapolation of information, eventually yielding a quasi-spatial model of the thermal state of the Kitzsteinhorn's surface and subsurface. Due to its generic design the presented monitoring approach is considered to be transferable to comparable high-mountain study sites.

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