Book brings the story of the HMAS Sydney (II) and HSK Kormoran to life

From Great Depths cover

‘From Great Depths’ tells the story of two researchers who had a passion to bring the story of HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran to life using personal war-time accounts, stunning underwater photography and an array of modern equipment, state-of-the-art visual modelling and reconstructive imaging technology, and support and services from some of Australia’s leading scientists, maritime archaeologists and historians.

The 500,000 images and 300 hours of video of the two wrecks (located about 20km apart in depths of approximately 2.5kms a few hundred kilometres off the coast of Carnarvon) were acquired using two remotely operated vehicles (ROVS) by a team from Curtin University, DOF Subsea and the WA Museum.

The images and video were fed in a 3D reconstruction pipeline to create a series of digital models.  Due to the size of the dataset and scale of computation required, the Pawsey Supercomputers were used to run the computations in a reasonable period of time.  What resulted were high definition 3D models of the wrecks.

The data from the study will be used to determine how quickly the wrecks were degrading and will affect how the WA Museum looks after the sites.

The images were also plotted into 3D models to get a better understanding of the wrecks and as a way of testing 3D imaging techniques as a way of preserving wreck sites in future.

The visual modelling and reconstructive imaging technology part of the venture was undertaken by PhD student Joshua Hollick, Dr Petra Helmholz and Dr David Belton and their valuable scientific contributions were acknowledged in the book.

The publishing of the book marked the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the Sydney.