Fraunhofer Researchers Improve Underwater Images

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Image courtesy of Fraunhofer

Videos and images of the submarine world are important for the maritime industry. Researchers from Fraunhofer IGD will show how underwater images can be improved and evaluated at this year’s SMM in Hamburg, Germany, from September 9-12. The submarine world is becoming more transparent.

Due to refraction effects and the optical properties of water, underwater images are usually distorted, noisy and contain color casts. These effects often render underwater images useless for industrial applications. Fraunhofer IGD develops processes to significantly improve the quality of such underwater images.

“Once the underwater images have been color-corrected and deblurred, we are able to evaluate them in detail and gain information of all kinds,” said Professor Uwe Freiherr von Lukas, head of the Competence Center “Maritime Graphics” at Fraunhofer IGD. By means of the information gained, the underwater world can be optically measured and reconstructed three-dimensionally, for instance. This opens up new possibilities for the inspection of offshore installations, the automated documentation of living creatures or underwater archeology.

Suppliers of the submarine data are divers or special diving robots such as remotely operated vehicles, ROVs in short, or autonomous underwater vehicles, AUVs in short. They are often already equipped with camera systems and take individual images or videos underwater. The devices transmit these directly from the water to a control or monitoring center. “Our work aims at real-time-capable solutions to assist various users directly in their work underwater,” von Lukas explained.

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