Underwater laser scanner gathers evidence

26th March 2015
Jordan Mulcare

An underwater laser scanner, developed and manufactured by Newton Labs, is proving to be an effective and critical evidence gathering tool at a construction-related special project in Germany, where the scanner measurements will used for judicial purposes. Divers from Baars-CIPRO deployed a Newton model M210UW Underwater Laser Scanner at the bottom of a water-filled construction pit to document the detailed features of a slurry wall.

The dimensions of these features could reveal the cause of a structural failure being reviewed in the courts.

The Newton underwater scanner captures sub-millimeter measurements with an accuracy of 0.127mm (0.005"), producing a dense point cloud output that can be used to generate a fully measurable 3D CAD model. In this case, the 3D models will be directly compared to construction drawings from the project. Any difference between the actual, as-built wall and the approved drawings could provide a causal link between a construction defect and a resulting accident.

In addition to the underwater scanner, the Baars-CIPRO divers used a variety of evidence-gathering tools to survey the slurry wall, including high resolution photos, HD video, sonar profiling and a custom made global reference system. However, the Newton scanner outperformed all these tools and provided the required evidentiary accuracy, detail and 3D modeling capabilities.

"We at Newton labs are pleased to provide Baars-CIPRO with the highest resolution inspection technology available for underwater use," said Rob Wheeler, Chief Operations Officer. "The Newton scanner has proven a valuable tool for those who require accurate and repeatable underwater measurements across a wide range of industries."

“In the past few years we have been involved in an increasing number of special projects that call for more accuracy, multiple measurements in a tight time frame and direct 3D-imaging of the measurements,” said Jeroen Baars, Owner, Baars-CIPRO. “The Newton underwater laser scanner is the special measuring tool that will enable us to increasingly build upon our water-based services, designs and custom solutions,” Baars concluded.

The M210UW underwater laser scanner is landmark technology combining industrial-grade hardware and electronics with sophisticated, Newton-developed algorithms that make precise underwater scanning possible by compensating for the challenges of refraction, turbulence and suspended particulates found in aquatic and marine environments.

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