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New solutions in underwater imaging and vision systems
Bonin-Font, F.; Burguera, A.; Oliver, G. (2014). New solutions in underwater imaging and vision systems, in: Reynaud, E.G. (Ed.) Imaging marine life: macrophotography and microscopy approaches for marine biology. pp. 22-47. hdl.handle.net/10.1002/9783527675418.ch2
In: Reynaud, E.G. (Ed.) (2014). Imaging marine life: macrophotography and microscopy approaches for marine biology. Wiley-Blackwell: Weinheim. ISBN 978-3-527-32744-7. XXI, 253 pp., more

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Keywords
    Autonomous underwater vehicles; Installations; Robot vision; Underwater; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Bonin-Font, F.
  • Burguera, A.
  • Oliver, G.

Abstract
    Underwater vehicles, with autonomous capabilities, are becoming increasingly available to assist or replace divers and remotely guided vehicles used for ocean exploration or for the maintenance of submerged installations. Traditionally, autonomous underwater vehicles have used acoustic sensors to perceive the environment or to navigate. However, although images of marine objects can be distorted by the seawater, optical imaging systems can clearly benefit many underwater robots. The European project Trident aims to develop a new multipurpose autonomous underwater platform, usable for exploration and intervention and with diverse scientific, industrial, and rescue applications. One of the main tasks included in Trident is the incorporation of an imaging infrastructure to run some of the projected functionalities: surveying, scene recognition, object identification, and station keeping. When a vision system for an underwater vehicle has to be designed, some specific characteristics of the image formation in sub-sea conditions should be taken into account. This chapter first presents an extensive survey of components, techniques, and methods used to build underwater vision systems. In particular the following are reviewed: characteristics of images formed underwater, some light source solutions, a list of relevant vision-based equipment and systems, as well as some methods for improving the image. Finally, a new imaging system developed in the context of the Trident project is described.

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