Underwater imaging system performance characterization
Jaffe, Jules S.
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The correct design of underwater camera systems for viewing underwater objects is vitally important if the performance of these underwater imaging systems is to be maximized. Towards this goal, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has developed a system of computer programs which allows the underwater lighting system designer to explore the imaging system performance that results from the manipulation of beam patterns, geometry of cameras and light sources, and changes in the environment. The computer simulation of underwater image system performance has been found to be a valuable tool for several reasons. Most importantly, the performance of underwater lighting systems cannot be easily predicted from terrestial experience because of the intense scattering of the oceanic medium. Secondly, the cost of implementing and running computer programs to simulate underwater camera light viewing is at greatly reduced expense to experimentation in the real world. Finally, the inherent flexibility in using a computer for modeling allows the user to build up a base of experience which can then be used for heuristic system design. In this report, we will consider the results of a systematic study that was performed in order to quantify and refine the performance of an underwater imaging system. The camera and lighting system of the mine neutralization system (MNS) was subject to an intensive computer study of over 500 simulations in order to characterize the existing system performance and to determine the scope of both simple and more complex changes that could be made in order to optimize the performance of the imaging system.
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