Image Courtesy of WA Museum and Curtin University. Copyright WA Museum.
Kongsberg Maritime’s state-of-the-art OE14-530 3DHD video camera has produced a wealth of stunning imagery during an expedition to survey the historic World War II shipwrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and the German raider HSK Kormoran, off the coast of Western Australia. The Western Australian Museum and Curtin University survey, which took place in April 2015, also used six OE14-408E digital stills cameras on two ROVs operated by DOF Subsea.
The Sydney and Kormoran wrecks lay undiscovered in 2,500 metres of water, 20km apart, about 200km west of Shark Bay until 2008, when Kongsberg Maritime underwater cameras were responsible for taking the first photos of them lying on the ocean floor. A follow-up expedition was undertaken in April this year with a more sophisticated spread of equipment, to help better understand what happened during the battle to cause the destruction of both ships and the complete loss of Sydney’s 645 crew – a loss that is still, to this day, Australia’s greatest naval tragedy. Kongsberg Maritime was selected as the lead underwater camera partner for this work.
The data captured during the survey will form the basis of several exhibitions at the Western Australian Museum, which will feature digital 3D reconstructions of the wreckage area that can be ‘toured’ digitally; an experience made possible by the use of Kongsberg Maritime cameras. The 3D reconstruction will be predominantly created using images from the OE14-408E digital stills cameras, which feature Ethernet operation that allowed immediate transfer of the images to the surface.