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Towards cost-efficient prospection and 3D visualization of underwater structures using compact ROVs
Stal, C.; Deruyter, G.; Paelinck, M.; Vandenbulcke, A.; De Wulf, A. (2015). Towards cost-efficient prospection and 3D visualization of underwater structures using compact ROVs, in: Informatics, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing, Conference Proceedings, Volume I (SGEM 2015). pp. 1211-1218
In: (2015). Informatics, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing, Conference Proceedings, Volume I (SGEM 2015). International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference-SGEM. STEF92 TECHNOLOGY LTD: Sofia. ISBN 978-619-7105-34-6. , more
In: International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference-SGEM. SGEM: Sofia. ISSN 1314-2704, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    ROV; 3D visualization; underwater; prospection; cost-efficiency

Authors  Top 
  • Stal, C., more
  • Deruyter, G., more
  • Paelinck, M.
  • Vandenbulcke, A., more
  • De Wulf, A., more

Abstract
    The deployment of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) for underwater prospection and 3D visualization has grown significantly in civil applications for a few decades. The demand for a wide range of optical and physical parameters of underwater environments is explained by an increasing complexity of the monitoring requirements of these environments. The prospection of engineering constructions (e.g. quay walls or enclosure doors) and underwater heritage (e.g. wrecks or sunken structures) heavily relies on ROV systems. Furthermore, ROVs offer a very flexible platform to measure the chemical content of the water. The biggest bottleneck of currently available ROVs is the cost of the systems. This constrains the availability of ROVs to a limited number of companies and institutes. Fortunately, as with the recent introduction of cost-efficient Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on the consumer market, a parallel development is expected for ROVs. The ability to participate in this new field of expertise by building Do It Yourself (DIY) kits and by adapting and adding on-demand features to the platform will increase the range of this new technology. In this paper, the construction of a DIY OpenROV kit and its implementation in bathymetric research projects are elaborated. The original platform contains a modified webcam for visual underwater prospection and a Micro ElectroMechanical System (MEMS) based depth sensor, allowing relative positioning. However, the performance of the standard camera is limited and an absolute positioning system is absent. It is expected that 3D visualizations with conventional photogrammetric qualities are limited with the current system. Therefore, modifications to improve the standard platform are foreseen, allowing the development of a cost-efficient underwater platform. Preliminary results and expectations on these challenges are reported in this paper.

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