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Sensors 2015, 15(3), 6033-6065; doi:10.3390/s150306033

Omnidirectional Underwater Camera Design and Calibration

Computer Vision and Robotics Group, Centre d’Investigació en Robòtica Submarina, Parc Científic i Tecnològic, Universitat de Girona, 17003 Girona, Spain
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Academic Editor: Vittorio M.N. Passaro
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 6 February 2015 / Accepted: 26 February 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)

Abstract

This paper presents the development of an underwater omnidirectional multi-camera system (OMS) based on a commercially available six-camera system, originally designed for land applications. A full calibration method is presented for the estimation of both the intrinsic and extrinsic parameters, which is able to cope with wide-angle lenses and non-overlapping cameras simultaneously. This method is valid for any OMS in both land or water applications. For underwater use, a customized housing is required, which often leads to strong image distortion due to refraction among the different media. This phenomena makes the basic pinhole camera model invalid for underwater cameras, especially when using wide-angle lenses, and requires the explicit modeling of the individual optical rays. To address this problem, a ray tracing approach has been adopted to create a field-of-view (FOV) simulator for underwater cameras. The simulator allows for the testing of different housing geometries and optics for the cameras to ensure a complete hemisphere coverage in underwater operation. This paper describes the design and testing of a compact custom housing for a commercial off-the-shelf OMS camera (Ladybug 3) and presents the first results of its use. A proposed three-stage calibration process allows for the estimation of all of the relevant camera parameters. Experimental results are presented, which illustrate the performance of the calibration method and validate the approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: omnidirectional; underwater; camera; calibration; housing; OMS; image stitching; image blending; panorama construction omnidirectional; underwater; camera; calibration; housing; OMS; image stitching; image blending; panorama construction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bosch, J.; Gracias, N.; Ridao, P.; Ribas, D. Omnidirectional Underwater Camera Design and Calibration. Sensors 2015, 15, 6033-6065.

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