video

3D modeling gives USS Arizona Memorial a digital makeover

3D scans can gather information without disturbing sunken World War II ship

The following is a transcript of the video:

Nick Barber:
Using 3D modeling technology the US National Park Service is working on the first comprehensive survey of the USS Arizona memorial in 30 years. On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces attacked US ships in Pearl Harbor. It marked the US's entrance into World War II and resulted in nearly two thousand casualties. The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument was dedicated in 1962 and sits overtop the USS Arizona, where still 900 sailors and Marines rest.

Sly Lee (Scientist, National Park Service):
It's been at least 30 years since anyone has done any kind of survey on the ship. This will be the first quantitative survey that we'll be able to track change detection on a minute scale over time. The ship is corroding overtime because its in a hostile environment. It's in salt water. There's up to half a million gallons of oil in the ship. We don't know exactly how much oil is in there, but it's slowly leaking out. A lot of this project is to start the conversation about what needs to be done.

Scott Pawlowski (Chief of Cultural and National Resources, USS Arizona Memorial, National Park Service):
Using multiple sensors, software and techniques to accomplish what one time took three years to map and draw by hand into what we hope will take just a couple of months. Sly Lee (Scientist, National Park Service) For the first time people are going to be able to interact with a 3D model of the USS Arizona. Up until now there's only be static film, photos, 3D film, but nothing has been completely immersive and interactive as this will be.

Nick Barber (voiceover):
The National Park Service is able to gather 3D information about the ship without disturbing it. It's using reality computing technology from Autodesk, underwater photogrammetry, subsea LiDAR, high resolution SONAR and above water laser scanning to conduct the investigation.

Scott Pawlowski:
At the end of the project we hope to have a survey grade scan and digital file of this vessel as well as interpretive products and educational products and the story behind the ship and what happen on the ship on December 7 and since then to the American people and the international crowd as well.

Pearl Harbor Attack Survivor Robert Lee:
The Japanese attackers, attacking planes were very low they were circling all around. Then also about that same time I looked out across the harbor here and much closer to me the battleship Arizona exploded and it had been hit by a high level bomb which had gone through several decks and exploded in the powder basin.

Nick Barber (voiceover):
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will host 1.7 million people this year, making it the most popular destination in Hawaii. For those who can't make the trip, the National Park Service hopes that these 3D models could educate people from afar. The team would like to create and entire 3D model of the USS Arizona by the end of this year. In the meantime its created 3D replicas of items found on the deck of the ship.

Unidentified (voiceover):
This is a Coke bottle and cooking pot. The Coke bottle is at 1:1 scale and the cooking pot is at half scale. These are items currently on the USS Arizona. You can see we've got a tag here from the museum.

Sly Lee:
I think it's really important for people to remember that sailors died on that ship and that this is a really important piece of American history. Also the USS Arizona is a war tomb and should be treated as such out of respect and dignity, but also not forgotten. Also this project is going to be groundbreaking in terms of being able to monitor the ship overtime and also be able to provide an interactive experience for visitors.

Nick Barber (voiceover):
Nick Barber, IDG News Service.

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