Geo Week News

September 7, 2005

Scanning in Katrina's Wake

We’re back after the August break – usually a quiet season, but this year was obviously an exception. The big news, of course, is Hurricane Katrina’s impact on offshore and onshore infrastructure in and around the Gulf of Mexico – some early details below. Meanwhile we’re readying new case studies of how laser scanning is being used to build boats and ships, and to improve design, construction and public presentation of civil infrastructure projects. We’ll also report on next-generation lidar systems now in the early stages of development – there seem to be some breakthroughs coming.  

This year’s hurricane season has weeks left to go, but already two devastating storms have oil companies calling laser scanning service providers to aid reconnaissance and repair efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. Here are a couple we’ve managed to reach.

HICAD America, Houston, TX, confirms the passage of Hurricanes Dennis and Katrina through the Gulf of Mexico resulted in orders to survey a number of offshore structures for potential damage. HICAD has a long pedigree in dimensional control of offshore structures – the firm provided DC services during construction of Thunder Horse, Magnolia and other platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.

READCO (Remote Engineering and Design Company, Inc.), New Orleans, LA, reports it is negotiating contracts to scan offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of Katrina. The company’s president, Troy Di Natali, is no stranger to such work – READCO scanned Chevron’s Petronius platform after Hurricane Ivan severely damaged the structure a year ago. When we reached Di Natali today, he described leaving his New Orleans home last Wednesday, August 31, amid floodwater, looting and the sound of gunfire. (READCO’s web site,, is down due to Katrina. The company expects to have it back up by this weekend. If you need to reach Di Natali before then, give us a call.) geovisit();

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