USS Utah being scanned for 3D look at deterioration

USS Utah being scanned for 3D look at deterioration

PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow)

The starboard side of the USS Utah shows the toll time has taken.

"You can see now deterioration in the side of the ship that didn't exist before," said Daniel Martinez, chief historian at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

The Utah was one of the first vessels torpedoed during Japan's Pearl Harbor attack. Six officers and 52 enlisted personnel were lost. The vessel is losing parts of itself.

"You're always concerned about the structural integrity of a shipwreck," Martinez said.

The National Park Service and companies R2Sonic and Autodesk Inc. are doing a sonar scanning and digital survey of the Utah.

"What we are scanning and looking at today can be then measured five years from now as to what the changes were," Martinez said. "Those changes can be almost indiscernible."

The intricate 3D imaging was also done on the USS Arizona with ultra-high resolution.

"You take this data. You can twist and turn this around. You can look at it from all these angles," R2Sonic's Jens Steenstrup said.

"The scanning will be complete of the ship. It will include some of the debris field that is part of that," Martinez said.

The scanned images will serve as tools to help preserve the vessel.

"The anchors are still on the bow of the vessel," Martinez said. "We'll be able to zoom in on one of those anchors and see it three-dimensional."

In 1986, drawings of the ship were pieced together that showed the Utah's size and state of deterioration. That method was the dark ages compared to this.

"If you ask the question, 'How long will this ship last?' we may over a period of years have measuring points to give you a more accurate answer to that question," Martinez said.

The imaging work is being done with no cost to the National Park Service.

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