Page 31: of Marine Technology Magazine (May 2008)

Undersea Defense Edition

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low-visibility subsea environments. Low light cameras, bet- ter lighting systems, and visual enhancement technologies, as well as high-resolution multibeam imaging sonars, pro- vide exciting new options for performing nearfield visual observations when visibility is poor. However, certain sce- narios demand much more "big picture" situational aware- ness due to complex structures and entanglement hazards that are exacerbated by poor visibility. In such circum- stances, a real-time 3-D model can be fed high-quality posi- tion and attitude information from an inertial navigation system to provide a real-time, virtual world that an ROV operator can utilize to supplement his/her suite of sensory inputs. In the case of a flooded mine in northern Canada, we encountered a confined-access, low visibility environ- ment with a high likelihood of misguidance or entangle- ment. The deep waters and confined access disqualified the utility of positioning through acoustic methods, and the need for a robust, real-time, integrated positioning and atti- tude system demanded that a high quality inertial naviga- tion system be used. The obstacles and entanglement risk required that the data from that navigation solution be fed into a 3-D model for real-time monitoring.

In the project, we demonstrated that we could pull together a host of off-the-shelf hardware and software to develop a unique, high-value navigation solution and a real- time, adaptive 3-D virtual environment to maximize the sit- uational awareness for the ROV operational team. The solu- tion, combined with advanced video and sonar observa- tional tools, provides a comprehensive approach to avoiding a game of blind man's bluff with an ROV asset.

The Authors extend special thanks to: • Michael Reay and David Porter at Nuytco Research, Ltd., for their outstanding project management on this project. Pat Sanders at Hypack, Inc. who provided valuable input to

SeaVision for utilizing the 3DTV utility in Hypack. SoundMetrics, for allowing us to use a sample image from their DIDSON sonar. LYYN AB, for allowing us to use a sample image of video that has been enhanced with their LYYN T38 Video Enhancement


About the Author

Jeff Snyder is the

President of SeaVision (SeaVision) Marine

Services LLC, based in

Naugatuck, CT. He can be contacted at jsnyder@seav- or 203- 605-8959. Marine Technology Reporter 31

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Marine Technology

Marine Technology Reporter is the world's largest audited subsea industry publication serving the offshore energy, subsea defense and scientific communities.