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New York University Ice Scallop Scanning

2G Robotics enabled NYU to study the formation of ice scallops in real-time and high-resolution.

Introduction

Dr. David Holland and Mitch Bushuk of the Department of Math & Atmospheric Ocean Science at New York University sought a way to efficiently monitor Ice Scallop formations. The goal was to understand how ice scallops reacted with the ocean environment, and their natural propagation and change over time. Since Ice Scallops measure only a couple centimetres, millimeter level changes could represent significant alterations in the scallop structure. As such, Holland and Bushuk selected a 2G Robotics’ ULS-100 as a key piece of their testing apparatus. The underwater laser scanner provided detailed 3D point cloud data of ice scallop models.

Flume Tank Scanning

The ULS-100 was used to scan the surface of an ice sheet in a Flume tank to examine Ice Scallop formations. The as the scanner was utilized underwater, the data was collected with no disruption to the Ice Scallops. The ULS-100 scanned the sheets with no contact allowing detailed 3D point cloud models to be constructed. Additionally, the speed of the scans and the resolution of the laser allowed the Ice Scallop structure to be captured at precise times and with significant detail. This enable the Ice Scallops to be scanned over a period of time to create a detailed 3D time lapse model of the changes observed.

Scientific Insight

The detailed scan data generated helped the researchers to better understand the conditions under which Ice Scallops form and also enabled them to analyze the Ice Scallop melt rates as a function of time and space in order to better predict environmental effects and fluid flow dynamics over ice. The millimeter accuracy of the laser scanner allowed for precise measurements to be made from the models. Additionally, because 3D point clouds were generated for the duration of the scans, any details that later became of interest were measurable. Typically, when analyzing a particular aspect of a subject the researcher must pre-emptively determine the measurements required. 2G Robotics underwater laser scanner allow measurements to be taken after the fact.

“The millimeter accuracy of the laser scanner allowed for precise measurements to be made from the models.”

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