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MS Estonia in 3D

The wreck of the Estonia is currently being documented in minute detail. An underwater robot called a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, is taking hundreds of thousands of high-resolution stills of the hull as well as inside the ship. The images will be compiled into a 3D model.

“The approach being used was developed during maritime archaeological investigations,” says professor Johan Rönnby, head of MARIS, the maritime archaeological research centre at Södertörn University. 

The Swedish accident investigation commission has been eager to produce a detailed picture of the Estonia today. Through photogrammetry, many photographs are taken that are put together into a three-dimensional image. This gives researchers a good overview, and allows them to zoom in and out or rotate the image in a computer. An ROV is now being used for taking shots in deep water.

“The images taken will be processed and compiled so that experts and the public can see with their own eyes what kind of damage the ferry has,” says Ingemar Lundgren of Ocean Discovery, the company performing the 3D documentation of the Estonia.

What led to the new investigations at the site of the sinking were previously unknown holes in the ship’s starboard side. These were revealed in the documentary “Estonia – fyndet som förändrar allt”, which further drummed up speculation about the cause of the disaster in 1994.