ASSESSMENT OF A STATIC MULTIBEAM SONAR SCANNER FOR 3D SURVEYING IN CONFINED SUBAQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS
Keywords: 3D modelling, accuracy assessment, Mechanical Sonar Scanner, Terrestrial Laser Scanner
Abstract. Mechanical Scanning Sonar (MSS) is a promising technology for surveying underwater environments. Such devices are comprised of a multibeam echosounder attached to a pan & tilt positioner, that allows sweeping the scene in a similar way as Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS). In this paper, we report on the experimental assessment of a recent MSS, namely, the BlueView BV5000, in a confined environment: lock number 50 on the Marne-Rhin canal (France). To this aim, we hung the system upside-down to scan the lock chamber from the surface, which allows surveying the scanning positions, up to an horizontal orientation. We propose a geometric method to estimate the remaining angle and register the scans in a coordinate system attached to the site. After reviewing the different errors that impair sonar data, we compare the resulting point cloud to a TLS model that was acquired the day before, while the lock was completely empty for maintenance. While the results exhibit a bias that can be partly explained by an imperfect setup, the maximum difference is less than 15 cm, and the standard deviation is about 3.5 cm. Visual inspection shows that coarse defects of the masonry, such as stone lacks or cavities, can be detected in the MSS point cloud, while smaller details, e.g. damaged joints, are harder to notice.