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Government of Canada Unveils 3D Model of HMS Erebus

Data collected by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Canadian Hydrographic Service used to develop models of HMS Erebus

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK – Officials from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, today joined with Canadian geospatial software company CARIS and geomatics technology innovation support centre TECTERRA, to unveil high precision 3D printed models of HMS Erebus, Sir John Franklin’s lead ship found last year in Canada’s Arctic waters as part of Parks Canada’s search for the vessels of the lost 1845 expedition.

The models were printed from the multibeam sonar data collected by Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service. The bathymetric measurements were processed in seafloor mapping software created by the New Brunswick-based company CARIS and subsequently exported for use in a 3D printer provided by the Calgary-based geomatics technology innovation support centre TECTERRA.

The high precision models are scaled representations of HMS Erebus as it currently sits on the seafloor in the eastern waters of Queen Maud Gulf. The level of detail in the models provides a clear view of the vessel’s current structure, and even shows details of the wooden beams and materials surrounding the wreck, as well as one of its anchors that rests off the port side. Being able to generate the models adds extra value for Parks Canada archeologists and divers from the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic as they prepare for their April dive operations into the wreck as part of Operation Nunalivut 2015.


“It is a great honour to see Fredericton-based CARIS being part of the next steps of the discovery of one of the Franklin Expedition lost ships, HMS Erebus. The model created here in New Brunswick by an innovative company will play a major role in the ongoing efforts to explore, research and understand one of Canada’s greatest mysteries.”

The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton

“Canada is a recognized global leader in the field of geomatics. It’s an honour to see Canadian software used to map this significant and historical shipwreck, and the added element of 3D printing provides an innovative means of transforming a scientific dataset into a product that a much broader audience can directly appreciate.”
Dr. Salem Masry, CEO and President, CARIS.

“As a Canadian geomatics technology innovation support centre, we are honoured to have the opportunity to support historically significant deployments, such as the mapping of HMS Erebus. Through the use of TECTERRA’s 3D printer, we were able to print high a precision model of HMS Erebus as it sits today on the ocean floor.”

Jonathan Neufeld, Director of Commercialization Programs at TECTERRA

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