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This article considers the potential use of multiple autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in order to increase the performance of underwater optical imaging systems. In this case, placing cameras on one set of vehicles and lights on another set can surmount the traditional limitations to single vehicle imaging. As envisioned, the arbitrary location of these vehicles in 3-dimensional space permits the arbitrary placement of cameras and lights. One advantage over traditional, single vehicle implementations is that the locations of the cameras and the lights can be dynamically configured in order to optimize imaging system performance. Highly scattering environments might by optimized by one set of camera light configurations whereas low scattering and low absorption environments might benefit from alternate configurations. In addition. 3-dimensional measurement of the sea floor can be facilitated via various configurations that will support either structured light imaging or stereo imaging. We conclude that Multiple AUV Optical Imaging presents new options for improving the performance of underwater optical imaging system.
OCEANS 2007 - Europe
Date of Conference: 18-21 June 2007