The Government of Canada has a mandate to protect and manage all archaeological sites across Canada. As part of the federal government body, Parks Canada employs a team of Marine Archaeologist to identify, monitor and preserve marine artifacts and sites, ensuring these pieces of Canadian history live on. Underwater laser scanning is being used to create 3D digital models of these artifacts.
One of the more notable marine parks in Canada is the Fathom Five National Marine Park, located in Tobermory, Ontario. Resting on the bottom of Georgian Bay, just a short distance off shore are 22 shipwrecks and light houses available for exploration. Parks Canada Marine Archaeologist, Ryan Harris, and his team of expert divers needed to document the current condition of the wooden tug boat known as Alice G.
Since 1927, the Alice G. has rested in 23 feet of water, documenting her current condition was the focus of this project. The ULS-500 underwater laser scanner from 2G Robotics was purchased by Parks Canada to create 3D models of significant artifacts, like the Alice G. On this occasion, the ULS-500 underwater laser scanner was deployed with Parks Canada divers. Resting on a tripod, the scanner was able to capture a precise 3D point cloud model of various features of this shipwreck.
The underwater laser scanning generated high resolution measurements of the engine area, and boiler. The digital 3D point cloud models document the shipwrecks current condition. Future scans of this same wreck will equip Marine Archaeologists to understand the progression of the wrecks deterioration and create preservation and restorative strategies.
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