It is one of the standard tasks of marine research and the ecological evaluation of offshore installations to document the flora and fauna on the ocean floor or in the water column. Underwater images are making an important contribution to these research purposes. In the submarine world, different limiting conditions are to be observed than on land: severe interference caused by floating particles and difficult lighting conditions strongly affect the quality of underwater images. So, Fraunhofer IGD develops special image-processing methods to significantly improve the quality of such underwater images.
They form the basis for efficient monitoring processes. For instance, objects may be identified, structures underwater may be measured and reproduced three-dimensionally by means of these technologies. Scientists and developers are able to research oceans in a model approach, simulate influences of the maritime industry and improve the ecological balance sheet of ships.
Accomplishment of the image-processing technologies
- Improve image quality (reduce color cast, image noise, ”marine snow“, refraction effects)
- Recognize, measure, count and classify underwater objects
- Spatially reconstruct underwater structures
- Better recognize underwater events
- Interpret underwater scenarios more precisely
- Continuously monitor technical submarine structures
- Support submarine analyses and documentations
- Observe marine habitats more efficiently
- Evaluate underwater images more precisely than before
- Determine types and sizes of submarine organisms more precisely than before
This research has been supported by the German Federal State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the European Social Fund under grant ESF/IV-BM-B35-0006/12.