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Range Imaging for Underwater Vision Enhancement

Description: This paper presents results from a series of preliminary tests to evaluate a scannerless range-imaging device as a potential sensory enhancement tool for divers and as a potential identification sensor for deployment on small unmanned underwater vehicles. The device, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, forms an image on the basis of point-to-point range to the target rather than an intensity map. The range image is constructed through a classical continuous wave phase detection technique in which the light source is amplitude modulated at radio frequencies. The receiver incorporates a gain-modulated image intensifier, and range information is calculated on the basis of the phase difference between the transmitted and reflected signal. The initial feasibility test at the Coastal Systems Station showed the device to be effective at imaging low-contrast underwater targets such as concertina wire. It also demonstrated success at imaging a 21-inch sphere at a depth of 10 feet in the water column through a wavy air-water interface.
Date: April 19, 1999
Creator: Rish, J.W.; Blume, B.; Nellums, B.; Sackos, J.; Foster, J. & Wood, J.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department