NSWCCD-SSES Completes Scans of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Using Cutting-Edge Laser Technology

Engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division – Ship Systems Engineering Station (NSWCCD-SSES) completed scans of a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, Oct. 5, using new three-dimensional laser metrology equipment. Laser metrology uses laser-based measurements to create a computer-generated, 3D representation of an object by determining hundreds, thousands or even millions of coordinates and points in a space.

Engineers will use the scans of the ship to help determine future upgrades to equipment and design structure. NSWCCD-SSES is also using the laser metrology equipment to scan Navy ships and submarines in order to generate 3D models, immersive virtual environments, prototypes, simulations, and historical records.

“This is cutting-edge technology for the commercial sector, as well as government,” said Pinkesh Bharatia, an engineer in NSWCCD-SSES‘ Sail Systems Hull, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Branch. “These tools allow engineers to see what someone aboard a ship or submarine would see without having to physically be there. We can scan a piece of equipment, a compartment, or even entire ship. And those scans can help us design new components, alleviate in-service issues, ensure parts fit properly, and even explore what the next generation of ship and submarine designs will look like today.”

According to Robert Santoro, a team lead in NSWCCD-SSES’ Sail Systems Hull, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Branch, “this new technology is being applied to various Naval Sea Systems Command submarines and surface ships program efforts such as the Ohio-class replacement and the LPD 17 Diesel Center of Excellence“.

The new metrology equipment is part of NSWCCD-SSES’ new Machinery Research and Engineering Department’s Modeling and Simulation Lab. Once the reconfigurable Computer Aided Virtual Environment re-opens later this year, these 3D scans will provide engineers a way to interactively explore virtual ship environments. The ability to revisit the shipboard environment virtually will reduce overall cost of assessing machinery spaces and systems prior to conducting maintenance, modernization or technology upgrades.

“There is an almost infinite potential of applications that can utilize the laser metrology equipment in concert with a model-centric design approach. With enough data, virtual environments could be modeled rapidly with the ability to be fully-immersive and interactive for the purposes of training and validating concept designs,” said Tim Klingensmith, a branch manager in NSWCCD-SSES’ Advanced Machinery Systems Integration Branch.

The Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia is a major component of Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division. It is the Navy’s principal test and evaluation station and in-service engineering agent for all hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and has the capability to test and engineer the full range of shipboard systems and equipment from full-scale propulsion systems to digital controls and electric power systems.

Naval Today Staff, October 16, 2012