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Proceedings Paper

Specular surface stereo: a new method for retrieving the shape of a water surface
Author(s): Howard J. Schultz
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Paper Abstract

In many remote sensing applications the shape of a water surface must be determined instantaneously, and under natural lighting conditions. Because of their nondestructive measurement capabilities, optical remote sensing systems that employ stereo image analysis techniques seem to be ideally suited for this application. Most stereo analysis techniques, however, assume surface reflectance properties which are incompatible with the reflectance properties of water, especially in the centimeter and smaller wave lengths. To analyze the fine scale structure of the ocean surface, a new specular surface stereo technique is presented that makes use of the unique optical properties of water. The method analyzes an image of the illumination source and multiple images of the water surface, and incorporates an image formation model that predicts the irradiance at a pixel for a given surface shape and illumination source. The surface shape is determined by solving the inverse problem of finding a surface elevation and gradient map that will result in a set of synthetic images that closely match the observed images. The performance of the specular surface stereo technique and a conventional stereo analysis technique were tested by processing simulated data. Comparison of the two techniques showed that the specular surface stereo method can potentially recover significantly more information than conventional stereo images analysis methods.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 December 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1749, Optics of the Air-Sea Interface: Theory and Measurement, (22 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.138857
Show Author Affiliations
Howard J. Schultz, Univ. of Massachusetts/Amherst (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1749:
Optics of the Air-Sea Interface: Theory and Measurement
Leland Estep, Editor(s)

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