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Open AccessArticle

DeepSurveyCam—A Deep Ocean Optical Mapping System

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, RD4/RD2, Wischhofstr. 1-3, 24148 Kiel, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Fabio Menna, Fabio Remondino and Hans-Gerd Maas
Sensors 2016, 16(2), 164;
Received: 1 November 2015 / Revised: 20 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
Underwater photogrammetry and in particular systematic visual surveys of the deep sea are by far less developed than similar techniques on land or in space. The main challenges are the rough conditions with extremely high pressure, the accessibility of target areas (container and ship deployment of robust sensors, then diving for hours to the ocean floor), and the limitations of localization technologies (no GPS). The absence of natural light complicates energy budget considerations for deep diving flash-equipped drones. Refraction effects influence geometric image formation considerations with respect to field of view and focus, while attenuation and scattering degrade the radiometric image quality and limit the effective visibility. As an improvement on the stated issues, we present an AUV-based optical system intended for autonomous visual mapping of large areas of the seafloor (square kilometers) in up to 6000 m water depth. We compare it to existing systems and discuss tradeoffs such as resolution vs. mapped area and show results from a recent deployment with 90,000 mapped square meters of deep ocean floor. View Full-Text
Keywords: AUV; photogrammetry; camera; survey; deep sea; mapping; mosaicking; Photoscan AUV; photogrammetry; camera; survey; deep sea; mapping; mosaicking; Photoscan
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Kwasnitschka, T.; Köser, K.; Sticklus, J.; Rothenbeck, M.; Weiß, T.; Wenzlaff, E.; Schoening, T.; Triebe, L.; Steinführer, A.; Devey, C.; Greinert, J. DeepSurveyCam—A Deep Ocean Optical Mapping System. Sensors 2016, 16, 164.

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