Publication Detail

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Measures Didemnum Infestation

Seth Newburg, Michael Soroka, Judy A Pederson, Gregory Booma, Franz Hover, Chryssostomos Chryssostomidis
1 pp.
MITSG 12-03
$5.50 DOM / $7.50 INT

An aggressively growing sea squirt, Didemnum vexillum, is found growing on Georges Bank and throughout coastal subtidal areas from Connecticut to document impacts and predict dispersion and distribution of Didemnum, we need to quickly survey the sea floor. To date, only a small portion of Georges Bank has been surveyed using cameras and videos. A system is needed that can cover a large area and identify potential Didemnum infestations in order to document the scope of the invasion. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) offer a platform for testing sensors, comparing the records to digital images, and collecting samples for verification.

Capable of untethered dives, the Odyssey IV AUV collects high resolution images from 1 m altitude off the sea floor. A CTD sonde mounted on the vehicle collects environmental data, which is time stamped and stored in an onboard database with the images. Image processing algorithms were developed and used to compensate for imaging artifacts and enhance the photographs in order to reveal the biodiversity in this marine habitat. It was found that creating mosaics of overlapping photographs using the SIFT-RANSAC method (Brown and Lowe, 2007) is helpful in collecting census data of the benthic community.

type: General reports, fact sheets, posters

Parent Project

Project No.: 2010-R/RCM-29-REG
Title: Using Technology to Assess the Invasive Sea Squirt, Didemnum vexillum, Impacts on Fisheries and Ecosystems

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