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High Resolution 3D Laser Scanning for Ultra Deep Water

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, January 28, 2013 - 9:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Carl Embry

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

3D at Depth – Boulder
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

In January 2011, 3D at Depth was awarded a contract to bring high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) laser imaging technology from the lab into an ultra-deep water environment for the oil and gas industry. In 13 months 3D at Depth turned a bench-top prototype into a submersible system that could be integrated and tested with a work-class Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV). The company is currently finishing development of the first production sensor and getting ready for its first offshore trial in February 2013. 3D laser imaging is a powerful data collection system that provides 3-D information for a specific area of interest. It is the predominate technology for terrestrial survey, construction, as-built analysis, and large-scale retro-fits. The 3D laser imaging market is a mature multi-billion dollar industry with an eco-system of software, expertise, and best practices. Developing the technology to provide high-definition subsea laser imaging enables the deep water industry (10,000 ft. + water depths) to use the current state of the art in 3D metrology and related best practices developed for the terrestrial market. Terrestrial laser scanners can produce cm spatial and range accuracy up to one-hundred meters range. Due to the absorption of light by water, realizable deep-water systems are limited to tens of meters range depending on the target and water conditions. This presentation starts with a brief overview of 3D at Depth, the ultra-deep-water inspection industry, and the specific markets 3D at Depth is attempting to address. It then reviews the development of the underwater laser scanning system under the current program. The first section discusses some of the theoretical background of underwater laser sensing and shows results from 3D at Depth’s simulators. Following are descriptions of the prototype sensor; experimental configuration and results for different pool tests; experimental configuration and results from ROV integration and test; and results from initial reliability tests. The talk will conclude with a description of work to be performed in 2013, including part-time technical positions that will be opening within the next few weeks.