Discovery Vision System: Vertical vs Downward Underwater Inspections

Written by Patricia Sestari

June 13, 2023


In the realm of 3D modeling for underwater inspections, traditional methods have primarily focused on downward-facing methodologies, tailored for surveying seabed-based infrastructure. These techniques typically involve lasers, cameras, acoustics, and positioning systems optimized for capturing data along long straight lines, grid patterns, and pipeline routes.  

However, as the need for comprehensive 3D modeling on vertical structures in the water column has grown, a new approach is required. In this blog post we will delve into the advantages and applications of vertical inspections and how the groundbreaking Discovery Vision System by Voyis is revolutionizing this field. 

The Challenges of Vertical Inspections 

Unlike their downward counterparts, vertical underwater inspections encounter unique challenges due to the additional dimension of depth. Flight paths during vertical inspections necessitate more freedom of movement, including ascending, descending, lateral maneuvers, encircling structures, and even exploring interior spaces. These flexible flight patterns do not align well with the straight-line can add errors in subsea navigation survey technology making it difficult to accurately build positionally corrected models of targets using traditional sensors optimal for downward-facing surveys. Therefore, a novel approach is required to effectively capture 3D data on vertical structures. 

Enter the Discovery Camera, an innovative solution by Voyis designed for vertical inspections. With its advanced capabilities, the Discovery Camera enables the generation of accurate and detailed 3D models while seamlessly adapting to various flight paths, essential when performing inspections of targets in the water column. This breakthrough technology eliminates the limitations of conventional methods and empowers operators to build models on the fly, ensuring comprehensive coverage of vertical structures. 

Vertical Structures in Increasing Demand 

Vertical structures have always been a prevalent part of subsea industries, such as offshore wind and oil, however, these inspections historically relied on simple general visual inspections (GVI) or low-resolution modeling with sonar to provide answers on the state of the asset. In the offshore wind sector, floating platforms with mooring chains, cables, and monopiles play a crucial role in harnessing renewable energy. Similarly, in offshore oil operations, structures like jackets, piles, risers, tubes, mooring chains, and cables are essential components of the infrastructure. Conducting thorough inspections and ensuring the integrity of these structures are paramount for safety, maintenance, and regulatory compliance. 

Vertical Inspections with More Than GVI 

We are unlocking vertical inspections with more than just GVI, providing a level of detail that was previously only available for downward inspections. The Discovery Vision System is revolutionizing the field by enabling operators to capture high-resolution images and videos, while also generating detailed 3D models of assets within the water column. The Discovery system seamlessly integrates with various robotic platforms including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to perform the same workflow as a standard GVI and improve the output with higher quality video/stills along with 3D volumetric analysis. Unlike traditional methods, the Discovery Camera empowers operators to build models on the fly, ensuring comprehensive coverage and accurate data capture of vertical structures.  

When it comes to vertical or downward subsea inspections, Voyis has the perfect solution for you. Our comprehensive range of cutting-edge technologies covers all your needs. With our high-resolution underwater laser scanners and stills cameras designed specifically for downward inspections, we provide crisp still images and detailed point clouds for 3D model generation. Moreover, our forward-facing Discovery Vision System is tailored for vertical inspections, allowing you to explore and document underwater structures with precision. The Discovery Vision System empowers users to generate highly accurate 3D models in real-time, providing a comprehensive understanding of the inspected environment. Whether you require crisp still images, high-resolution videos, or detailed 3D models, Voyis has the advanced tools and expertise to support any subsea application and deliver outstanding results. 

Contact us to learn more! 

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