Optical Sensing and Reconstruction of Underwater Scenes for Habitat

Yuri Rzhanov
Research Associate Professor


Friday, Apr. 20, 2012, 3:00pm
Chase 130

While acoustic sensing of the seafloor remains the most popular technique due to its low cost, it has two major deficiencies when applied to habitat mapping. First, the state-of-the-art resolution is not higher than 5 cm,and second, acoustic backscatter is related to actual physcial and biological properties of insonified surface only through complex and often obscure models. Optical sensing, on the contrary, achieves submillimeter spatial resolution and is intuitively interpretable by humans. However, coverage by optical sensors is much smaller, and manual interpretation of acquired images is a time-consuming job, required trained professionals. The talk will discuss current state of affairs in the optical sensing underwater, existing tools and techniques, and possible directions of further research.


Yuri Rzhanov, an associate research professor, has a Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics from the Russian Academy of Sciences. He completed his thesis on nonlinear phenomena in solid state semiconductors in 1983. Since joining the center in 2000, he has worked on a number of signal processing problems, including construction of large-scale mosaics from underwater imagery, automatic segmentation of acoustic backscatter mosaics, accurate measurements of underwater objects from stereo imagery.

His research interests include development of algorithms and their implementation in software for 3D reconstruction of underwater scenes, automatic detection and abundance estimation of various marine species from imagery acquired from ROVs, AUVs, towed and handheld cameras.