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Proceedings Paper

Image-processing method of modeling underwater imagery from gated and gain-modulated scannerless range imagers
Author(s): John William Edwards; Jimmy Touma; Michael R. Wellfare; Monte A. Owens; Joseph Foster; Donna Foster; Bradley T. Blume; Robert O. Nellums; Steve Leiben; Jeff W. Rish III; Jody L. Wood-Putnam
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Paper Abstract

An Underwater Scannerless Range Imager illuminates a wide field-of-view with a broadbeam laser pulse and captures the entire scene with an image intensified solid state camera. By imaging the received light onto a microchannel plate (MCP) receiver whose gain is modulated, and focusing the CCD camera on the phosphor screen that fluoresces upon excitation by the MCP output pulse, a sequence of images differing in the phase of the modulation waveform can be formed, and high precision target ranges can be inferred for each pixel of the viewed scene. When the medium between transmitter and target is obscured, as by turbid water, the return signal is temporally extended so that the inferred range picks up a bias owing to backscatter. The intimate relationship between the spatial and temporal behavior of the signals (near targets produce different temporal profiles than distant ones) adds complexity that cannot be handled by point spread functions, as is common for CW illumination and range-gated systems with constant gain. The method described here breaks the propagation problem into four channels depending on whether the light is scattered by the medium on the way to or from the target (or both, or neither), and calculates arrays to represent mean pathlengths and their variances. A fairly rigorous sensor model based on the various layers in a particular implementation (photocathode, MCP, phosphor, CCD array, A/D converter) and on receiver modulation transfer characteristics completes the prescription for generating realistic synthetic USRI images in moderate turbidity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2000
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4039, Information Systems for Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions II, (12 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.391884
Show Author Affiliations
John William Edwards, Computer Sciences Corp. (United States)
Jimmy Touma, Computer Sciences Corp. (United States)
Michael R. Wellfare, Computer Sciences Corp. (United States)
Monte A. Owens, Computer Sciences Corp. (United States)
Joseph Foster, Computer Sciences Corp. (United States)
Donna Foster, Computer Sciences Corp. (United States)
Bradley T. Blume, Computer Sciences Corp. (United States)
Robert O. Nellums, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Steve Leiben, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Jeff W. Rish III, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)
Jody L. Wood-Putnam, Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4039:
Information Systems for Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions II
Jody L. Wood-Putnam, Editor(s)

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