Aberdeen tech start-up sets record time for subsea scanning saving Operator 50% of project cost

An Aberdeenshire technology start-up company has produced 3d scan data for a major North Sea Operator saving them 50% of the usual cost.

Viewport 3, based in Ellon were contracted to work in collaboration with N-Sea on a project, to carry out subsea scanning of multiple locations at a North Sea based Semi-Submersible in order to collect 3d data to enable cofferdam design and construction.
Typically, divers would provide this data, however the Photogrammetry technique utilized by Viewport 3 provides data accurate to less than a millimetre and is far quicker. On this project the data was collected in 8 days rather than a more typical 20 days. The longest capture session at one site was just 2 hours and 30 minutes. Onboard review of pointcloud data enabled early analysis and confirmation the site was fully captured.
The technique uses ROV mounted digital cameras to obtain point cloud scans, eliminating the need for additional hardware, logistics and bed space which all provides cost savings.

Richard Drennan, Director and Co-Founder of Viewport3 said: “We helped to deliver a dense dataset, accurate to less than a millimetre, which was beyond the stated requirement.

“The process is becoming the industry’s go-to technology for 3d scanning underwater, largely due to the simplicity of the capture process. Because of this, it can also be carried out at short notice which means we can collect and produce data sets within extremely tight operating deadlines.”

“N-Sea’s world-class approach to problem solving was the perfect platform for our technology.

“With our process, we can also 3d print the results, create 3d scenes for meeting room visualizations, and give the dive company an option to use Virtual Reality to train their divers for the installation phase, allowing them to effectively “swim” around during the job planning phase, without leaving dry land. This means the whole site is familiar to them, before they go into the water.”

David Hamill, N-Sea Business Development Manager, said:

“As an innovative and forward-thinking company, we are always looking for ways to develop our expertise and assets to offer the best possible service to our clients. Utilising Viewport 3’s subsea scanning expertise during this project has been hugely beneficial for our team.

“In a first for both companies and a great example of local collaboration, our joint approach resulted in time and cost savings for the client. It has also given us a great platform from which we can continue to trial and refine utilising this innovative technology on future projects in a mutually beneficially way.”

Viewport3 was established in 2017 when Director’s Richard Drennan and Chris Harvey met while on the Elevator Business Programme and decided to form a partnership, combining their skillsets and vision.