Development of a Field Deployable Underwater Laser Scanning System
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As humans seek to explore and exploit underwater environments and resources the need for tools and techniques to assist in this is critical. An important component of working in any environment is understanding dimensional information about that environment. The predominant inspection techniques in an underwater environment are sonar and video systems, However, these do not provide fine detail and often critical geometric measurements about small features and defects. Underwater laser scanners have been investigated for underwater measurements and demonstrated to operate with success; however, the current deployment options of these systems are limited. Through this thesis, an easy to deploy underwater laser scanner was developed, overcoming mechanical integration and sensor calibration challenges not previously dealt with. By integrating the laser, sensor and rotary actuator into a single housing, the calibration of the sensor is successfully maintained through multiple deployments of the scanner into a variety of applications. The developed scanner has been successfully deployed for a variety of applications, from Underwater Archeology and Biology in the Dominican Republic and Antarctica to Offshore and Inland asset inspection in the Gulf of Mexico to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.