Buoys in the Bay

Ongoing work as part of my fellowship with the Rhode Island Consortium for Coastal Ecology Assessment Innovation and Modeling. RI C‑AIM is a collaboration of engineers, scientists, designers and communicators from eight higher education institutions developing new approaches to assess, predict and respond to the effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems.

“Bringing the Bay Observatory to 3D Life” - An Article from URI Website December 2018 (PDF)

One of the many initiatives RI C-AIM was the creation of the Integrated Bay Observatory to gather real-time ecological data on the Narraganset Bay through a network of buoys. I became interested in how the information extracted from an environment could be represented in a way that acknowledges the physicality and spacial reality of a sensing device in an ecosystem. I started by building 3D assets I thought might be useful in future prototyping of an experimental web interface.

Here are some samples of the photogrammetry captures with each component. Photographed in the studio and also at URI in the warehouse. The simplicity of the pieces made it difficult for the PhotoScan Pro and ReCap to construct geometry and wrap texture.


Here are 3D Models rendered from initial photogrammetry tests. All from ReCap which was determined to be the best software available. Using the limited license with 100 image max upload per model. Issues are obvious but textures were incredibly impressive.

Early exploded isometric drawings of the buoy components and hardware. Modeled in Rhino and as accurate as possible to dimension and scale. The plan being to continue adding elements to the illustration as they are added to the actual buoys.


This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement #OIA-165221

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation