The French company Seaviews has recently developed a new surface platform for underwater photogrammetry in the framework of the GreenTech Verte grant from the French Minister of Environment.
Coupling a RTK GNSS with a high resolution underwater camera, the data acquired by the PHOTOCEAN platform allows to generate accurate digital elevation models (DEM), orthophotographs and georeferenced 3D models.
In relatively clear waters, the platform can map shallow seafloors up to 15 meters depth in an area of about one hectare. According to Seaviews, new developments are under progress to produce continuous 3D models from land to sea by coupling the PHOTOCEAN platform with aerial photogrammetry.
The photorealistic outputs provided by georeferenced underwater photogrammetry lead to precise maps of key marine habitats (seagrass and rocky beds, coral reefs) and artificial structures (dikes, wrecks). The company believes that within the next years, it is expected to become a common tool for underwater surveys.