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Evaluation of Laser Scanning and Stereo Photography Roughness Measurement Systems Using a Realistic Model Seabed Surface

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3 Author(s)
Chau-Chang Wang ; Inst. of Undersea Technol., Nat. Sun Yat-sen Univ., Kao-Hsiung, Taiwan ; Brian T. Hefner ; Dajun Tang

The topography of the seabed is influenced by sediment transport due to wave motion, current disturbance, and biological activities. The bottom roughness generated by these processes can substantially alter acoustic wave penetration into and scattering from the bottom, and therefore, it is essential to make accurate measurements of the bottom roughness for such acoustic applications. Methods to make direct measurements of bottom roughness include stereo photography, laser line scanning, and sediment conductivity. Roughness can also be measured indirectly using high-frequency sound backscatter. For optically-based methods, the accuracy of these measurements is typically evaluated using the elevations, lengths, or diameters of simple surface features of known dimensions. However, for acoustic applications, the statistical characteristics of the surface, e.g., the roughness spectrum, are more meaningful. In this paper, we present a fabricated rough surface milled into a 40 times 60 cm2 plastic block for use as a benchmark in the assessment of two in situ roughness measurement systems: a laser scanning system and a digital stereo photography system. The surface has a realistic roughness power spectrum that is derived from the bottom roughness measured during the 1999 Sediment Acoustics Experiment (SAX99) and was fabricated by a computer numerical controlled milling machine. By comparing the fabricated surface spectrum to the measured spectrum, a determination of the accuracy of the roughness measurement is evaluated, which is of direct relevance to acoustic applications.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )