USS Arizona Memorial Brings a New Dimension to an Underwater Icon
Contact: Brett Seymour, 505-310-5501
Contact: Eileen Martinez, 808-422-2772 x124
The National Park Service (NPS) is adding an entirely new dimension to the visitor experience and ongoing research at the USS Arizona Memorial by capturing the submerged battleship in stereoscopic three-dimensional high definition (3D HD).
USS Arizona, as it now rests submerged in Pearl Harbor, Island of Oahu, has become a symbol that memorializes one of the most pivotal events of the 20th century. Nearly 1.5 million people make the journey to the USS Arizona Memorial each year to understand and contemplate the events of December 7, 1941. These visitors pay their respects to those 2,390 Americans who lost their lives on Oahu and the more than 900 sailors and marines still entombed within the Arizona.
Over the ten-day field project, the NPS along with several research partners will capture new underwater imagery that will be used to create an immersive experience in 3D HDTV on the submerged battleship. The 3D-HD technology uses two parallel high definition camera systems to capture images that our brains interpret as three dimensional and is similar to the technology now being used in the entertainment industry. “This is not the gimmicky 3D movies with red and blue cardboard glasses of years past,” says Brett Seymour of the NPS Submerged Resources Center. “This is a documentary-style presentation brought to life as the viewer is immersed in the waters of Pearl Harbor and experiences USS Arizona as a touchstone of history.”
USS Arizona Memorial Superintendent, Paul DePrey comments “In addition to an educational and visitor experience products, these cameras generate high resolution video and still images that are critical to the site stewardship and on-going research in the areas of structural integrity and oil release.”
The underwater 3D HD camera systems designed and built by the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will be used by NPS researchers to document the battleships exterior. An additional miniature underwater 3D HD system will be mounted on a Remotely Operated Vehicle, or ROV, provided by VideoRay LLC to perform a non-invasive, condition assessment of accessible cabins in the interior of the ship.
“These new underwater stereoscopic, 3D survey tools we have developed enable maritime archeologists to conduct extremely accurate surveys of the exteriors and interiors of sunken vessels quickly and at resolution levels never thought obtainable,” says William Lange, head of the Advanced Imaging and Visualization lab at WHOI. “We are bringing the researchers into the very areas they are interested in observing – without ever having to get wet -- and, at the same time, allowing the public to experience these wrecks through immersive 3D displays in visitor centers and museums.”
The Arizona Memorial Museum Association (AMMA) has provided support for the project and plans incorporate the footage into its ongoing educational programs. The US Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU) will provide logistical and dive support while Ocean Technology Systems (OTS) provides the underwater communication resources for the project.
National Park Service -
USS Arizona Memorial at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument -
NPS Submerged Resources Center -
Arizona Memorial Museum Association -
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution –
VideoRay, LLC -
U.S. Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE –
Did You Know?
There were 1.4 million gallons of fuel on the USS Arizona when she sank. Over 60 years later, approximately nine quarts still surfaces from the ship each day. Some Pearl Harbor survivors have referred to the oil droplets as "Black Tears."