Optical EngineeringLaser-induced fluorescence imaging of the ocean bottom
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A hyperspectral imaging system has been developed to image the laser-induced fluorescence of objects on the ocean floor to discriminate between man-made and natural materials. The information captured with this sensor allows one to examine the reflectance of the ocean floor, Raman scattering from water molecules, and laser-induced fluorescence from suspended chlorophyll and yellow matter in the ocean water and from objects on the ocean floor. The excitation laser is a Q-switched, diode-pumped, frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser. The receiver is a time-gated image intensified CCD camera with wide field-of- view optics designed for high radiometric throughput. A grating prism or GRISM placed before the receiver is used to spectrally disperse the returned light. The complete system forms a hyperspectral image of the laser-illuminated ocean floor.