Pixel Club: Our Eyes Beneath The Sea: Advanced Optical Methods For Ocean Imaging

Speaker:
Tali Treibitz (USCD)
Date:
Thursday, 9.5.2013, 13:30
Place:
EE Meyer Building 861

The ocean covers 70% of the earth surface, and influences almost every aspect in our life, such as climate, fuel, security, and food. All over the world, including Israel, depleting resources on land are encouraging increased human activity in the ocean, for example: gas drilling, desalination plants, port constructions, aquaculture, bio-fuel, and more. The ocean is a complex, vast, foreign environment that is hard to explore and therefore much about it is still unknown. Interestingly, only 5% of the ocean floor has been seen so far. As human access to most of the ocean is very limited, optical imaging systems can serve as our eyes in those remote areas. However, optical imaging underwater is challenging due to intense pressures at depth, strong color and distance dependent attenuation, refraction at the interface air/water, and the ever-changing and rugged conditions of the natural ocean. Thus, imaging underwater pushes optical imaging to its limits. This is where advanced c omputer vision methods may overcome some of these obstacles post-acquisition and enable large-scale operations using machine learning.

As a result, imaging systems for the ocean require a dedicated effort throughout all the development steps: design, optical, electrical and mechanical engineering and computer vision algorithms. In this talk I describe several in-situ underwater imaging systems I developed and show how they can be used to solve acute scientific problems. These include an underwater in-situ high-resolution microscope and systems for large-scale multispectral and fluorescence imaging.

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