A COMPARISON BETWEEN ACTIVE AND PASSIVE TECHNIQUES FOR UNDERWATER 3D APPLICATIONS
- University of Calabria, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rende (CS) – Italy
Keywords: Stereo vision, underwater imaging, dense reconstruction, structured-light
Abstract. In the field of 3D scanning, there is an increasing need for more accurate technologies to acquire 3D models of close range objects. Underwater exploration, for example, is very hard to perform due to the hostile conditions and the bad visibility of the environment. Some application fields, like underwater archaeology, require to recover tridimensional data of objects that cannot be moved from their site or touched in order to avoid possible damages. Photogrammetry is widely used for underwater 3D acquisition, because it requires just one or two digital still or video cameras to acquire a sequence of images taken from different viewpoints. Stereo systems composed by a pair of cameras are often employed on underwater robots (i.e. ROVs, Remotely Operated Vehicles) and used by scuba divers, in order to survey archaeological sites, reconstruct complex 3D structures in aquatic environment, estimate in situ the length of marine organisms, etc. The stereo 3D reconstruction is based on the triangulation of corresponding points on the two views. This requires to find in both images common points and to match them (correspondence problem), determining a plane that contains the 3D point on the object. Another 3D technique, frequently used in air acquisition, solves this point-matching problem by projecting structured lighting patterns to codify the acquired scene. The corresponding points are identified associating a binary code in both images. In this work we have tested and compared two whole-field 3D imaging techniques (active and passive) based on stereo vision, in underwater environment. A 3D system has been designed, composed by a digital projector and two still cameras mounted in waterproof housing, so that it can perform the various acquisitions without changing the configuration of optical devices. The tests were conducted in a water tank in different turbidity conditions, on objects with different surface properties. In order to simulate a typical seafloor, we used various concentrations of clay. The performances of the two techniques are described and discussed. In particular, the point clouds obtained are compared in terms of number of acquired 3D points and geometrical deviation.