Welcome to the Stolt3D Expedition!

Here, you can find the latest updates to the expedition, scheduled events, resources & results, livestreams, and more.

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  1. Photogrammetric Survey — The very first 3D Photogrammetric survey ever conducted of the Stolt Dagali shipwreck!

  2. Open Expeditionary Model — Full public availability of datapoints, training resources, models, exhibitions, operations, finance, and toolchain. Workflow will be preserved for all to learn from.

  3. Immutability — With the use of hyperledger distribution across multiple blockchains; all site survey data, reports, and conclusions will be recorded permanently, distributed on IPFS, and also traditional methods.

  4. Digitally-Native — Full telepresence model, to include 3D-navigable sitemap with interactive callouts, virtual reality, and augmented-reality experiences. Public presentations for classroom and Q&A with online and hybrid audiences, combined with video documentary.

Crew Roster

Christopher Survey & ROV Ops., Director

Mike Photographer, Survey Team 1

John Navigator, Survey Team 1

Larry Photographer, Survey Team 2

Chuck Safety Diver, Survey Team 2

Olga Photographer, Survey Team 3

Bill Safety Diver, Survey Team 3

Renata Safety Diver, Survey Alternate

Joe Photographer, Survey Additional

Tracy Safety Diver, Survey Additional

Steve Video, Dive Voyager Expeditions

Maureen Video, Dive Voyager Expeditions

Josh AV DIT & ROV Tender

Andrew Historian & Composite Review

— Crew Log —

(Latest updates on top)

Winter 2021

Two successful survey days completed! After 7+ charter reschedules due to a wild year of weather at sea; our team was able to make it to the Stolt for a couple jam-packed days of survey.

Each day out featured three teams, two dive cycles, several thousand photos, two ROV dives, and camera pulldown for feedback between the dives... all in 12 very productive hours. A great time for all, and certainly entertaining -perhaps enlightening- to the dive boat crews and onlookers!

In all, with this first day out surveying the Stolt Dagali we have been able to survey the "top shell" of the wreck, essentially everything from the top-forward-break ("upper cut") to 3/4s back along the shallow stern rail ("promenade"). Some detail of the sides, hull, and upper decks are starting to come in.

A picture's worth a thousand words, so a video might be worth... a few million?

Either way, enjoy our latest update snippet below:

15 August 2021

Chasing M2 trials! Today, our team unboxed and did a test dive of the Chasing M2 ROV at Point Pleasant, generously provided by Chasing Exploration Ltd.

Compared to nearly all other observation-class ROVs, the M2 features 8 thrusters that allow a complete decoupling of rotational and translational movements, allowing for the most intuitive and natural diving control schema that any of our team members have experienced. Part of our expedition reporting will include a full review and video of this ROV, and comparing it to all other popular observation-class ROVs. Stay tuned!


23 May 2021 --> 12 July 2021

Training PGS3 (Day 2) - again at Dutch Springs! This day focused entirely on fine-tuning team dynamics with formation and swim patterns, camera exposure & focus, as well as onboarding two new team members: Safety Divers Chuck and Bill!

Dive Plan: PGS3-3 @ Silver Comet

[ALL] Team dynamics (swim pattern and formation)

Focus: Trailing formation for Survey Divers 1 & 2, with safety divers abeam-outboard

[ALL Survey] Full survey passes (base-normal and halo)

Focus: Communal whitebalance: all survey divers taking whitebalance from the same target at approximately the same time

Focus: Doubled base-normal and halo standoff to allow contour context and matching

Focus: For lower-relief worksites on sensitive silt, using top-down survey pattern (transect --> halo --> slice-normal --> base-normal)

Focus: No scalebars on this dive, main objective to fine-tune camera settings and focus

[POST] Debrief: safety, team dynamics, formation, exposure, focus, DoF

[POST] Photogrammetric alignment and mesh for review

Dive Plan: PGS3-4 @ Silver Comet

[ANY Safety] Scale bar loading and transport to worksite

[ALL Survey] Camera - communal whitebalance

[ALL Survey] Camera - exposure set

[T1 Survey] Scale bar deployment with orthogonal setup (X-Y-Z)

Focus: In-situ scalebar calibration photoset

[ALL Survey] Full survey passes (base-normal and halo)

[T2 Survey] Scale bar retrieval and stow

[POST] Debrief: safety, team dynamics, formation, exposure, focus, DoF

[POST] Photogrammetric alignment and mesh for review

Key takeaways and lessons-learned:

Halo pass framing was best achieved with the gunnel aligned with lower-third while elevated even with the top of the wheelhouse

Longitudinal transects may remain constant-depth (instead of constant-offset) provided the survey diver re-focuses for each feature change

GRSYNC is far easier to use in the field than RSYNC for checksummed data transfer

For photo QC and upload while outdoors; the Tether Tools Aero Sunshade (a portable laptop tent, field station, and darkroom) is worth its weight in gold

Final exposure settings, focus mode, and shutter speed paid off beautifully! All dataset photos are tack-sharp, evenly-exposed, and normal to macro features.

The use of an in-situ scalebar calibration photoset (overhead-normal and conical circuit) allowed for a far more accurate camera calibration model. This (so far), combined with marker-point corrections and profile exports, have improved photogrammetric alignment+model accuracy by 1.5 orders of magnitude. As part of the Open Expeditionary Model (OEM), this camera correction profile will later be posted on this page (for all cameras used on the expedition) with the implied caveat that all camera frame-lens-dome combinations require their own correction parameters!

3D Model: click the embedded player in this space for an fully navigable Comet 3D model!

16 May 2021

Training PGS3 (Day 1) - at Dutch Springs! Overall, the day was a very successful evolution to learn the use, placement, and recovery of scale bars & photogrammetry targets. Also began several trials of exposure & focus methods to best match with the survey passes.

Surface: PGS3-1

  • Lecture

    • Site Safety Briefing

    • PGSM1 Slide Review

    • Scalebar introduction

    • Survey components:

        • Base-normal

        • Slice-normal

        • Halo

        • Overhead (longitudinally-biased transects)

  • Dry-run: scalebar transport, deployment, & recovery

  • Exposure fundamentals for ambient-lighting photogrammetric photography

  • Review of Teams & Roles

Dive Plan: PGS3-1 @ Platform

  • [ALL CC] Rebreather Ops Checks

  • [ALL Survey] Camera Ops Checks

  • [ALL] Team dynamics (swim pattern and formation)

  • [ANY Safety] Scalebar loading and transport to platforms

  • [T1 Survey] Scalebar deployment with orthogonal setup (X-Y only)

  • [ALL Survey] Abbreviated survey passes (base-normal and halo)

  • [T2 Survey] Scalebar retrieval and stow

  • [POST] Debrief: safety, team dynamics, formation, exposure, focus, DoF

  • [POST] Photogrammetric alignment and mesh for review

Dive Plan: PGS3-2 @ Silver Comet

  • [ANY Safety] Scalebar loading and transport to worksite

  • [ALL Survey] Camera - manual whitebalance

  • [ALL Survey] Camera - exposure set

  • [T1 Survey] Scalebar deployment with orthogonal setup (X-Y-Z)

  • [ALL Survey] Full survey passes (base-normal and halo)

  • [T2 Survey] Scalebar retrieval and stow

  • [POST] Debrief: safety, team dynamics, formation, exposure, focus, DoF

  • [POST] Photogrammetric alignment and mesh for review

Key takeaways and lessons-learned:

  • On Canon and Olympus; drive-mode (auto-shutter) only takes a focus-lock from the first frame! When drive is used, back-button focus is dangerous, as each change in diver-site standoff distance requires the diver to disengage the drive, back-focus, verify, and re-engage. This is tough to do on a drifting survey pass and led to ~1/2 of the shots on PGS3-2 being off-focus. RESOLUTION: Drive-mode setup changed to use shutter-focus for dive PGS3-3+, successfully allowing for rapid periodic refocusing.

  • Base-normal pass framing was slightly high, and ~50% too tight. RESOLUTION: Brief sketches and dive plan updated to focus on lower-thirds for hull-seabed interface framing, and standoff distance was doubled for dive PGS3-3(+).

  • During inter-dive quick-turnaround datapull, a housing focus-ring was dislodged slightly by surface support, leading to a minor housing flood on dive PGS3-2 (despite passing a 5-minute vacuum test) and blocking of some camera controls. Camera was safely recovered and dried with no damage due to quick response. RESOLUTION: Surface crew continue to dry camera housings, vent, and extract cameras, but only the owning-diver shall reassemble, seal, vacuum, and ops check their camera before release for dive.

  • Calculated shutter speed of 1/60s led to occasional streaking when in a survey sequence. RESOLUTION: Shutter speed updated to 1/200 or faster for dive PGS3-4(+)

Coming soon: watch this space for an exported embed of the platform 3D model and the Comet 3D model!

15 May 2021

Orientation and shakedown on the Stolt Dagali! Mike and Christopher practiced ROV preparation, hybrid dive planning, and photosets (mainly focused on the skylight). The ROV experienced a camera module failure, thankfully the water was clear enough to practice launch, shallow handling, light signaling, and recovery. Replacement cameras (and a few other parts) have been ordered and the ROV is expected to be operational in two weeks. Underwater; Mike was able to capture several semicircular passes of the stern skylight, with model processing now finished for an unscaled upload to Sketchfab and embedded right here (just click the Play icon!).

12 May 2021

Aaaand we're live! The Stolt 3D crew has just finished Training 01 of the project series. We spent a weekend refreshing skills with the Trashcan Wreck in Mike's pool, practicing survey slices and transect passes — both with and without scalebars & targets, and experimenting with different camera settings and techniques. Debrief was conducted a week later, once all models were built from the trial datasets.

From there, some members rehearsed DIT (Ingest and quality control for 3D Modeling photosets) tasks, and we are continuing to refine the the overall workflow — once that's ready, it will also be posted here.

ROV fundamentals for crew monitoring and communication were also rehearsed, with particular emphasis on deck communication standards, launch, and recovery. Along with this update you can find our exported model of the Trashcan Wreck (TCW), and some nice photos of Little Voyager in action. The dive season begins!