Subsurface hull laser scanner

Large ships are inspected and cleaned every 4-5 years and painted every 8-10 years, in order to improve vessel performance and to demonstrate owners' commitment to safeguarding the structural integrity of the ship.[1,2,3] Inspections, cleaning, and painting, are performed by trained specialists, and dry dock inspections are estimated to cost shipowners $279mn globally/year.[4] Servicing of ship hulls is costly, imprecise, time-consuming, of limited accuracy, and subject to the cumulative fatigue of workers.[3,5,6]

Yearly damage to assets from marine corrosion is between $50-80bn.[7] In 2017, 40% of marine casualties are the result of structural failures from corrosive deterioration and is the single largest factor leading to such failures.[8,1]

Laser scanning is an emerging technology that can provide 3D scans at high resolution. Compared to manual inspection, this method may increase the accuracy and reliability of the detection and measurement of corrosion. However, the challenge of applying 3D laser technology underwater, and the constraints of working in confined spaces, have so far hindered their implementation.[9]

When will underwater hull inspections be performed by laser scanners?

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[1] Mathiazhagan, A., (2011),Corrosion Management for effective mitigation of corrosion in Ships - Overview
[2] Ortiz, F., Pastor, J. a., Alvarez, B., Iborra, A., Ortega, N.,Rodriguez, D. and Conesa, C.,(2007), Robots for hull ship cleaning.
[3] Aijazi, A., (2016), Detecting and Analyzing Corrosion Spots on the Hull of Large Marine Vessels Using Colored 3D Lidar Point Clouds
[4] Scheffler, D., Lee, B., Conopask, J., (2014), Costs of Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture Services, (Periscope's own estimate base on information in article).
[5] Biskup, K., Arias, P., Lorenzo, H. and Armesto, J., (2007) Application of terrestrial laser scanning for shipbuilding.
[6] Navarro, P., Iborra, A., Fernandez, C., Sanchez, P. and Suardiaz,J., (2010), A sensor system for the detection of hull surface defects.
[7] NACE International, (2020)
[8] Insurance Information Institute, (2020), Facts + Statistics: Marine Accidents
[9] Metrica, (2020), 3D Laser Scanning / Hull scanning
More information:
EMSA, (2019), The world merchant fleet - statistics from Equasis

By Matthew J. Spaniol