This paper presents a complete pipeline to create accurate 3D reconstructions of underwater archaeological sites from video data captured by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The fieldwork and data gathering for this project was completed off the coast of the island of Malta. While in the past the data gathering process for 3D reconstructions of underwater sites has been accomplished via multiple divers and expensive photographic equipment, this project aims to automate that process. The general pipeline for creating the 3D reconstructions began with the AUV completing several low-pass missions over the site of interest (historical ship wrecks) to gather video footage from different angles. The video data was then processed through a variety of methods to generate multiple usable frames. Next, Agisoft Photoscan, a photogrammetry software, was used to create models which were stitched together or further edited for better results. Finally, the models were placed in a custom developed 3D rendering and visualization software. These 3D reconstructions could then be used by archaeologists for study and the creation of educational visualizations of previously unmapped and hard-to-access archaeological sites. Educational visualizations can be used to excite the general public and encourage further funding of marine archaeology and preservation.
Recommended citation: S. Seibert von Fock, et al., “Pipeline for Reconstruction and Visualization of Underwater Marine Archaeology Sites using Photogrammetry,” International Conference on Computers and Their Applications (CATA), Mar 2017.