Surveying Objects Across an Air-Water Interface

Surveying Objects Across an Air-Water Interface Deadline: 2020-03-24
Award: $150,000 CAD
Open to: Canadian entities*

In hydraulic laboratories world-wide, coastal engineers and ocean scientists use physical model testing at reduced scales to test the performance of various coastal features or marine infrastructure (for example beaches, breakwaters, groynes, revetments, scour mattresses, coastal bluffs, river beds/banks and deltas) under storm and/or flood conditions. The prototype designs are scaled down to fit inside the laboratory testing facilities and wave basins, and the structures/features are constructed and tested in a range of wave, current, and water level conditions to verify their resilience and their response to harsh environmental forcing. One of the key metrics in measuring their performance is damage, which can often be assessed by a change in the structure/feature surface or profile (for example the profile of a river bank, or the reshaping of a beach face), or the loss of armour material from a breakwater (for example rock or concrete armour units). The advent of infra-red or laser profiling technologies (such as the FARO profiler) has greatly increased the speed and accuracy of surveying objects in hydraulic laboratories. However, in order to survey the objects, the water must be drained as the existing non-intrusive profiling systems cannot resolve the air-water interface effectively or accurately. Older technologies, such as mechanical profiling can be used in both air and water, but are not feasible as they are time consuming and intrusive thereby affecting the profile/stability of the model features during the measurement process. The challenge is to develop a non-intrusive profiling technology for a laboratory environment that can accurately measure the surface and profile objects that are partially or fully submerged in up to 1m of water.

* Details may apply. See contest website to confirm eligibility.

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