LASER scanning experts have used 3D imaging to get under the timbers of Lord Nelson’s famous flagship to help its preservation.
HMS Victory is the world’s oldest commissioned warship and is undergoing preservation work at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.
Now, new techniques are allowing experts to see more clearly how the ship was made.
They have produced this model of Victory to help understand how the 248-year-old vessel is constructed.
Andrew Baines is the curator and project director for HMS Victory.
He 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 the ship benefits from the highest possible standards of care.’
Laser scanning of HMS Victory, which is owned by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, has been used to construct the digital model.
It contains the details of every piece of timber and iron in its construction and is made up of around 80,000 components.
Each component had its position, dimensions, material, record of replacement, and condition embedded in the model to provide a database for the long-term conservation of the ship.
As further restoration is carried out, a record of the work done will be added to the model.
Rory Fisher, the managing director of BAE Systems Maritime Services, said: ‘We are very excited to be using such innovative technology to explore such an incredible piece of our heritage.
‘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.’
HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765.
The ship was moved into a dry dock at Portsmouth’s naval base in 1922 and has been preserved as a museum ship ever since.