Canberra: State of the art 3D modelling technology has been used to explore the wreckage of Australia’s first submarine lost at sea, with the interim findings of the research presented on Friday.
Carrying 35 personnel, the HMAS AE1 capsized over 100 years ago in 1914, but up until last year it remained a mystery as to where the historic vessel was, reports Xinhua news agency.
It was finally discovered at a depth of 300 metres near the Duke of York Islands in Papua New Guinea.
Since that time, in order to find out more, researchers at Western Australia’s Curtin University have taken 8,500 still images of the wreckage and plan to create a 3D model of AE1 as it rests now on the ocean floor.
“Through the process of photogrammetric 3D reconstruction, we are now able to create a complete, realistic and detailed representation of the wreck,” Andrew Woods, manager of the HIVE (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch) at Curtin University, said.
“This allows us to ‘virtually visit’ the vessel as if we were physically present at the site on the seafloor, something that would be impossible for us to do in real life due to its depth and remoteness.”
The team is hoping to use the model to gain a better understanding of why the submarine sank.
HMAS AE1 had only been in service for seven months when it left Sydney to capture what was then German New Guinea.
The AE1 was the Royal Australian Navy’s first ever wartime loss.