A research project has developed a tool to improve visibility of underwater images

This year the VICOROB UDG research group is finishing its POLMOSAIC project, which will help enhance the quality of the images currently used to make high-resolution photomosaics of the seabed. The project is financed by the European Commission under the PEOPLE program (FP7).

A team of scientists from the Research Group on Computer Vision and Robotics (VICOROB) at the University of Girona is immersed in a research project to develop a tool to improve the contrast of underwater images, which will enhance the quality of the images currently used to make high-resolution photomosaic of the seabed.

This research project, which is headed by Dr. Rafael García, is called Advanced Underwater Image Mosaicing through Imaging Polarimetry (POLMOSAIC) and is financed by the European Commission under the PEOPLE Program (FP7). The total budget for the project, performed during two years, is 160,000 euros.

Polarization of light

Current standard image processing methods do not provide a real solution to the problems of image degradation due to diffraction and absorption of light in the submarine environment. However, recent studies in the field of research in imaging polarimetry have shown that measuring the polarization state of light coming from a scene can be useful for the restoration of images. This measurement technique, originally inspired by biology, is called imaging polarimetry and is an efficient way of obtaining detailed information about the polarization of a scene.

The aim of POLMOSAIC is to apply imaging polarimetry on the underwater image recovery as a methodological framework integrated in the seabed mosaicing process. The project aims to develop and adapt imaging polarimetry techniques in the underwater environment, incorporating them in the visual system of an autonomous underwater vehicle built by VICOROB.

More efficiency

This research, which will end in July this year, will significantly improve the efficiency of environmental monitoring in marine habitats and will encourage technological advances of underwater vehicles used in applications located far from the coast.

VICOROB is a research group formed by researchers who are experts at developing applications in the fields of Computer Vision and Robotics. The group is part of the TECNIO Network, a platform promoted by ACC1Ó, the agency of the Government of Catalonia that brings together the Catalan agents who are key experts in applied research and technology transfer in Catalonia.

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