5 May 2010 IR diver vision for turbidity mitigation
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Commercial, forensic, and military divers often encounter turbid conditions which reduce visibility to zero. Under such conditions, work must be performed completely blind. The darkness resulting from high levels of turbidity is complete, and can be dangerous as well as disorienting. Such darkness can even occur near the surface on a bright and sunny day. Artificial underwater lighting is of no use in such situations, as it only makes matters worse (similar to the use of high beam headlights in dense fog). Certain wavelengths of infrared (IR) light have the ability to penetrate this underwater "fog," and thus form the basis of the current development. Turbidity results from clay, silt, finely divided organic and inorganic matter, soluble colored organic compounds, plankton and microscopic organisms suspended in water. The IR Diver Vision system described herein consists of a standard commercial diving mask of any of several configurations whereby an IR light source, IR video camera, video display, and power source may be integrated within or attached to the mask. The IR light source wavelength is compatible with the spectral bandwidth of the video camera. The camera field-of-view (FOV) is matched to the video display in order to provide a unity magnification and hence prevent diver ocular fatigue. The IR video camera, video display, power source and controls are compatible with extended use in a submarine environment. Some such masks will incorporate tilt/heading sensors and video indicators. 3-D Imaging, Inc. has developed prototypes and has patents pending on such devices.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jerry A. Milam, Jerry A. Milam, "IR diver vision for turbidity mitigation", Proc. SPIE 7688, Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XV: Design and Applications, 768806 (5 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.852533; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.852533


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