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Extended-Range Undersea Laser Imaging: Current Research Status and a Glimpse at Future Technologies

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Recent advancements in obtaining visibility of undersea objects at extended ranges in coastal and oceanic waters are reviewed for the years 2009 to present. The paper focuses on the latest techniques that are utilized to reduce the undesirable effects of scattering, mainly due to suspended particulate within the imaging volume, leading to the loss of contrast and blurring characteristic of undersea optical images produced over long ranges. Several recent sets of experimental results obtained using both benchtop laboratory development systems as well as field-deployable prototypes of new system concepts are presented, with observed performance attributes being discussed. Simulation studies that make use of accurate radiative transfer physical models to enable design and operation of new system concepts within a turbid water environment are also presented. Finally, this paper includes a description and results from an extended-range laser system that has reached a level of packaging and automation necessary to be available as a commercial product.
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Keywords: compressive sensing; laser imaging; lidar; modulation; underwater optics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-09-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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