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Proceedings Paper

Impacts of optical turbulence on underwater imaging
Author(s): Weilin Hou; S. Woods; W. Goode; E. Jarosz; A. Weidemann
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Paper Abstract

Optical signal transmission underwater is of vital interests to both civilian and military applications. The range and signal to noise during the transmission, as a function of system and water optical properties determines the effectiveness of EO technology. These applications include diver visibility, search and rescue, mine detection and identification, and optical communications. The impact of optical turbulence on underwater imaging has been postulated and observed by many researchers. However, no quantative studies have been done until recently, in terms of both the environmental conditions, and impacts on image quality as a function of range and spatial frequencies. Image data collected from field measurements during SOTEX (Skaneateles Optical Turbulence Exercise, July 22-31, 2010) using the Image Measurement Assembly for Subsurface Turbulence (IMAST) are presented. Optical properties of the water column in the field were measured using WETLab's ac-9 and Laser In Situ Scattering and Transmissometer (LISST, Sequoia Scientific), in coordination with physical properties including CTD (Seabird), dissipation rate of kinetic energy and heat, using both the Vector velocimeter and CT combo (Nortek and PME), and shear probe based Vertical Microstructure Profiler (VMP, Rockland). The strong stratification structure in the water column provides great opportunity to observe various dissipation strengths throughout the water column, which corresponds directly with image quality as shown. Initial results demonstrate general agreement between data collected and model prediction, while discrepancies between measurements and model suggest higher spatial and temporal observations are needed in the future.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8030, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring III, 803009 (5 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883114
Show Author Affiliations
Weilin Hou, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
S. Woods, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
W. Goode, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
E. Jarosz, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
A. Weidemann, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8030:
Ocean Sensing and Monitoring III
Weilin W. Hou; Robert Arnone, Editor(s)

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