In order to ensure the safety in using a large cylindrical storage tank, it is necessary to regularly detect its deformation. The traditional total station method has high accuracy in determining the deformation, however, it has a low measurement efficiency. Long-term observation means, there are more risks in the petrochemical plant, therefore, this paper proposes the usage of the 3D laser scanner, replacing the traditional total station to determine the deformation of a large cylindrical storage tank. The Matlab program, is compiled to calculate the point cloud data, while the tank deformation is analyzed from two different points which are, the local concave convex degree and the ovality degree. It is concluded that, the difference between the data obtained by 3D laser scanning, and total station is within the range of oil tank deformation limit, therefore, 3D laser scanner can be used for oil tank deformation detection.
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