An 'intelligent model' developed by defence and aerospace giant BAE Systems has been used by researchers working on reconstruction of Admiral Nelson’s HMS Victory battle ship.
The legendary 248 year-old vessel, the world’s oldest commissioned warship, used by Admiral Nelson in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar against the French and Spanish fleet, has been screened using advanced 3D laser imaging.
Data gathered have been used to create a digital model containing details of every piece of timber and iron used to build the ship, consisting of some 80,000 components. The information will be kept to help guide any future restoration work.
"We are very excited to be using such innovative technology to explore such an incredible piece of our heritage,” said Rory Fisher, Managing Director, BAE Systems Maritime Services. “The laser mapping provides us with an unprecedented level of insight into the construction of HMS Victory and allows our specialist team to identify the best ways to restore this iconic vessel."
Andrew Baines, Curator and Project Director for HMS Victory, said: "At almost 250 years old, HMS Victory's structure is incredibly complex, both in terms of design and the history of repair and conservation.
"This laser mapping and the structural analysis to follow will allow us to plan our programme of conservation and ensure that the ship benefits from the highest possible standards of curatorial care."
Currently undergoing conservation at the Historic Dockyard of the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, HMS Victory was designed in 1759 and launched in 1765. In 1922 she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth and preserved as a museum ship.