21 June 2015 Enhancing swimming pool safety by the use of range-imaging cameras
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Drowning is the cause of death of 372.000 people, each year worldwide, according to the report of November 2014 of the World Health Organization.1 Currently, most swimming pools only use lifeguards to detect drowning people. In some modern swimming pools, camera-based detection systems are nowadays being integrated. However, these systems have to be mounted underwater, mostly as a replacement of the underwater lighting. In contrast, we are interested in range imaging cameras mounted on the ceiling of the swimming pool, allowing to distinguish swimmers at the surface from drowning people underwater, while keeping the large field-of-view and minimizing occlusions. However, we have to take into account that the water surface of a swimming pool is not a flat, but mostly rippled surface, and that the water is transparent for visible light, but less transparent for infrared or ultraviolet light. We investigated the use of different types of 3D cameras to detect objects underwater at different depths and with different amplitudes of surface perturbations. Specifically, we performed measurements with a commercial Time-of-Flight camera, a commercial structured-light depth camera and our own Time-of-Flight system. Our own system uses pulsed Time-of-Flight and emits light of 785 nm. The measured distances between the camera and the object are influenced through the perturbations on the water surface. Due to the timing of our Time-of-Flight camera, our system is theoretically able to minimize the influence of the reflections of a partially-reflecting surface. The combination of a post image-acquisition filter compensating for the perturbations and the use of a light source with shorter wavelengths to enlarge the depth range can improve the current commercial cameras. As a result, we can conclude that low-cost range imagers can increase swimming pool safety, by inserting a post-processing filter and the use of another light source.
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D. Geerardyn, D. Geerardyn, S. Boulanger, S. Boulanger, M. Kuijk, M. Kuijk, } "Enhancing swimming pool safety by the use of range-imaging cameras", Proc. SPIE 9528, Videometrics, Range Imaging, and Applications XIII, 95280U (21 June 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2184734; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2184734

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