VRT’s story started under water, but we quickly expanded the surveys to cover also structures above the waterline. This serves our clients’ need for a comprehensive picture of the assets instead of having one part of information here and one there. It also enhances digitalization as the combined 3D model can be used as a digital twin for asset management purposes. In the second part of “3D Survey as a Service” blog series you get a glimpse of our field crew’s everyday work.

The 3D survey services we offer include high-quality multibeam sonar scanning for underwater structures and seabed. To gather data above the waterline we can utilize laser scanner for high resolution point cloud data with RGB colors which gives photorealistic look for the model. Additionally, we can do photogrammetry with drone to create 3D models and orthophotos. Our survey crew consists of several experienced survey engineers and all of them share the passion for detailed and accurate 3D data.

How is the 3D survey planned?

Now that you have ordered a 3D survey, the survey crew receives the basic information from the sales team and starts to plan the survey in practice. The survey tours are planned so that minimum travelling is required; VRT has ISO 14001 certification and we aim to minimize our environmental impact. Even though the survey vessels must be towed around Europe, good planning of the routes cuts the unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions.

There are many things to be considered in scheduling the field work. Our Head of Survey Jyri Nikula gathers the needed information to plan the field work, so that the client can just rely on us to do the work.

“For example, in ports you need to make sure that there are enough areas to be measured without ships blocking the view to the quay, and in tidal areas evaluate also the impact of tides to the survey plan. When inspecting hydropower plants, it is discussed whether the water flow is so strong that is affects safety or the quality of the data”, Nikula explains.

VRT Survey Vessel coming to the site

The vessel can be launched from a ramp or using a crane. It needs to be made sure that there is enough space for the towing car and the trailer to maneuver -the length of the combination is approximately 16 meters in total, which often comes as a surprise when we arrive to the site. Drone can naturally be launched almost everywhere, provided that the area to be surveyed do not have any limitations for aerial surveying.

Before surveying there can be a kick-off meeting with the client and the HSE plans are usually delivered to the client beforehand. The survey starts with the calibration of the equipment, and along the survey the conditions, weather, water properties effecting the speed of sound, and material to be inspected are constantly monitored to fine-tune the measurement.

The professional field crew produces superior data safely and smoothly

“After all the areas are surveyed, we end up with gigabytes of raw data together with survey vessel trajectories and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) data. The data will be post-processed at the VRT office in order to achieve centimeter level accuracy. We cannot really emphasize enough how important it is to do the right things in the field so that it’s easier at the office to put all things together and create accurate 3D models from the surveyed structures. The professionality of the field crew ensures that everything will be done to the highest standards, safely and smoothly, causing minimum disturbance to other traffic in the area”, Nikula describes the importance of the first steps of the 3D survey process.

If you want to discuss more about surveying of your assets, contact our specialists via the form below, and we’ll answer as soon as possible!



Read also the other parts of the blog series 3D Survey as a Service:

What to consider when buying a survey?

The art of point cloud processing

Inspection reveals the story of the underwater structure

What happens after a survey project?


Interested in our services? Contact us!

Karri Kolehmainen & Ville Mäkeläinen

Karri Koistinen

+358 40 0604927




Ville Mäkeläinen

+358 44 513 2222



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