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3D Documentation of the USS Iowa Using Lidar

Photo of 3D Documentation of USS Iowa'a Main Turret
3D Documentation of USS Iowa'a Main Turret

The main purpose of this multi-firm demonstration was 3D documentation of the USS Iowa’s main battery turret which housed the incredible 16 inch guns, that were capable of firing 2,700 pound shells at targets  24 miles away. One can only imagine what that was like.

From an article in ZDNet.

Photo of 3D Documentation of USS Iowa'a Main Turret

3D Documentation of USS Iowa’s Main Turret

Unfortunately, the turrets are only accessible after navigating several daunting ladders and narrow hallways, so they remain off limits to the general public. The virtualization project will give USS Iowa Museum curator Mike Getsher a way to take civilians inside without risking life and limb through the creation of a Virtual Reality experience.

But scanning a battleship, it turns out, presents all kinds of technical challenges. At over 900 feet long, the exterior scale is daunting, doubly so when you consider the ship is floating and therefore in constant motion.

To create a set of data points representing both the exterior and interior of the ship, the scanning team used state of the art equipment to painstakingly capture every inch of the battleship’s exterior above water, as well as the inside of the turret.

Taking on the task were technologists and tinkerers from Carahsoft, Autodesk, HTS Advanced Solutions, Sierra Skyworks, Nvidia, and Unreal, who approached the project as a technology demonstration, an eye-catching way to show various stakeholders and potential clients how sophisticated large-scale 3D scanning has become. Armed with 3 FARO scanners, 6 DJI drones, the team went to work scanning the ship. While the drones made passes overhead, capturing the ship’s exterior with millimeter scale accuracy, team members inside scanned the hallways with FARO scanners on tripods.

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