Marco BLOCK-BERLITZ | Cyril DWORSKY | Carmen LÖW | Benjamin GEHMLICH | Dennis WITTCHEN | Niklaas GÖRSCH | Benjamin DUCKE
(HTW Dresden, Dresden, Germany)

Keywords: 3d reconstruction, videogrammetry, uuv

The videogrammetric approach (the use of videostreams instead of single images) was successful introduced to UAV-based aerial 3d reconstruction in the project Archaeocopter. The results of several campaigns have shown that videogrammetry is a fully viable approach to reconstructing single objects as well as complete archaeological areas. The amount of recorded data, the ability to record while moving and the low cost make it a universal tool for documenting archaeological sites. Since 2015, our 3d reconstruction scope has been extended to underwater archaeology. The project Archaeonautic (HTW Dresden and Freie Universität Berlin) was initiated in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI).
We present our miniature UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) Eckbert II, equipped with GoPro cameras, additional lights and a flexible taring system, based on OpenROV. We discuss our customized enhancements to work across a broad range of underwater situations, not only in fresh- and saltwater. The complete hardware system (three GoPro Hero 4 BEs included) is about 3000 USD.
In April 2016, Eckbert II was successful deployed to document a shipwreck in Veruda/Croatia at an average depth of six metres. This campaign was conducted in cooperation with the DAI and the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar (ICUA). Also in April 2016, subsequent to the saltwater campaign, the same system eas deployed to document the palafittes (Pfahlbauten) in Mondsee/Austria at an average depth of about two metres. The main difference and the most critical point here was to ensure that the UUV never touches the sea bottom or the salient lake dwellings. We present best practice routines, such as solutions for cable management, supporting the UUV when strong currents are prevalent, and documentation/record keeping.

Relevance conference | Relevance session:
The presented system allows to document cultural heritage underwater in a cost-effective way.

Underwater videogrammetry poses very specific technical challenges, such as colour correction, that our research addresses in a ground-breakingly simple and cost-efficient manner.