Special Section on Recent Advances in Geophysical Sensing of the Ocean: Remote and In Situ Methods

Laser-based water depth measurement system deployed via unmanned aerial vehicle

[+] Author Affiliations
Kai Shen, Hui Lu, Sarfaraz Ali Baig, Guomin Jiang, Michael R. Wang

University of Miami, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Coral Gables, Florida, United States

John W. McManus

University of Miami, Rosenstiel School, Department of Marine Biology and Ecology, Miami, Florida, United States

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 11(3), 032409 (Jun 24, 2017). doi:10.1117/1.JRS.11.032409
History: Received January 17, 2017; Accepted June 1, 2017
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Abstract.  We introduced a laser-based noncontact shallow water depth measurement technique from a flying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The water depth is measured by imaging two laser beam spots scattered from the surface and bottom of the water. The effect of water surface waves and UAV tilt angles to the depth measurement has been studied for practical applications. We have further developed this laser-based detection system consisting of a green laser, a global positioning system, a camera with a narrow field of view lens, a laser range finder, and a single-board computer. The measurement system onboard of a UAV flying over a small lake has demonstrated satisfactory water depth measurement capability. The low-cost light weight UAV-based water depth measurement should benefit water depth monitoring, mapping, and reporting in a hazardous environment offering flexibility, mobility, and remote control safe operation.

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© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Kai Shen ; Hui Lu ; Sarfaraz Ali Baig ; Guomin Jiang ; John W. McManus, et al.
"Laser-based water depth measurement system deployed via unmanned aerial vehicle", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 11(3), 032409 (Jun 24, 2017). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JRS.11.032409


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