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Fourier-based registration for robust forward-looking sonar mosaicing in low-visibility underwater environments

Vehicle operations in underwater environments are often compromised by poor visibility conditions. For instance, the perception range of optical devices is heavily constrained in turbid waters, thus complicating navigation and mapping tasks in environments such as harbors, bays, or rivers. A new generation of high-definition forward-looking sonars providing acoustic imagery at high frame rates has recently emerged as a promising alternative for working under these challenging conditions. However, the characteristics of the sonar data introduce difficulties in image registration, a key step in mosaicing and motion estimation applications. In this work, we propose the use of a Fourier-based registration technique capable of handling the low resolution, noise, and artifacts associated with sonar image formation. When compared to a state-of-the art region-based technique, our approach shows superior performance in the alignment of both consecutive and nonconsecutive views as well as higher robustness in featureless environments. The method is used to compute pose constraints between sonar frames that, integrated inside a global alignment framework, enable the rendering of consistent acoustic mosaics with high detail and increased resolution. An extensive experimental section is reported showing results in relevant field applications, such as ship hull inspection and harbor mapping

This work has been supported by the FP7-ICT-2011-7 project PANDORA-Persistent Autonomy through Learning, Adaptation, Observation and Re-planning (Ref. 288273) funded by the European Commission, and the Spanish Project ANDREA/RAIMON (Ref. CTM2011-29691-C02-02) funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The authors would like to thank Soundmetrics Corp., Bluefin Robotics Corp. and the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) for providing some of the sonar data

© Journal of Field Robotics, 2015, vol. 32, núm. 1, p. 123-151

Wiley

Author: Hurtós Vilarnau, Natàlia
Ribas Romagós, David
Cufí i Solé, Xavier
Petillot, Yvan R.
Salvi, Joaquim
Date: 2015
Abstract: Vehicle operations in underwater environments are often compromised by poor visibility conditions. For instance, the perception range of optical devices is heavily constrained in turbid waters, thus complicating navigation and mapping tasks in environments such as harbors, bays, or rivers. A new generation of high-definition forward-looking sonars providing acoustic imagery at high frame rates has recently emerged as a promising alternative for working under these challenging conditions. However, the characteristics of the sonar data introduce difficulties in image registration, a key step in mosaicing and motion estimation applications. In this work, we propose the use of a Fourier-based registration technique capable of handling the low resolution, noise, and artifacts associated with sonar image formation. When compared to a state-of-the art region-based technique, our approach shows superior performance in the alignment of both consecutive and nonconsecutive views as well as higher robustness in featureless environments. The method is used to compute pose constraints between sonar frames that, integrated inside a global alignment framework, enable the rendering of consistent acoustic mosaics with high detail and increased resolution. An extensive experimental section is reported showing results in relevant field applications, such as ship hull inspection and harbor mapping
This work has been supported by the FP7-ICT-2011-7 project PANDORA-Persistent Autonomy through Learning, Adaptation, Observation and Re-planning (Ref. 288273) funded by the European Commission, and the Spanish Project ANDREA/RAIMON (Ref. CTM2011-29691-C02-02) funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The authors would like to thank Soundmetrics Corp., Bluefin Robotics Corp. and the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) for providing some of the sonar data
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 1556-4959 (versió paper)
1556-4967 (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/10320
Language: eng
Publisher: Wiley
Collection: MICINN/PN 2012-2014/CTM2011-29691-C02-02
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rob.21516
Articles publicats (D-ATC)
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/288273
Is part of: © Journal of Field Robotics, 2015, vol. 32, núm. 1, p. 123-151
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Vehicles submergibles
Submersibles
Fourier, Anàlisi de
Fourier analysis
Imatges -- Processament
Image processing
Title: Fourier-based registration for robust forward-looking sonar mosaicing in low-visibility underwater environments
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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