The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B5
16 Jun 2016
 | 16 Jun 2016


T. Guo, A. Capra, M. Troyer, A. Gruen, A. J. Brooks, J. L. Hench, R. J. Schmitt, S. J. Holbrook, and M. Dubbini

Keywords: Photogrammetry, Underwater 3D Modelling, Accuracy Assessment, Calibration, Point Clouds, Coral Reefs, Coral Growth, Moorea

Abstract. Recent advances in automation of photogrammetric 3D modelling software packages have stimulated interest in reconstructing highly accurate 3D object geometry in unconventional environments such as underwater utilizing simple and low-cost camera systems. The accuracy of underwater 3D modelling is affected by more parameters than in single media cases. This study is part of a larger project on 3D measurements of temporal change of coral cover in tropical waters. It compares the accuracies of 3D point clouds generated by using images acquired from a system camera mounted in an underwater housing and the popular GoPro cameras respectively. A precisely measured calibration frame was placed in the target scene in order to provide accurate control information and also quantify the errors of the modelling procedure. In addition, several objects (cinder blocks) with various shapes were arranged in the air and underwater and 3D point clouds were generated by automated image matching. These were further used to examine the relative accuracy of the point cloud generation by comparing the point clouds of the individual objects with the objects measured by the system camera in air (the best possible values). Given a working distance of about 1.5 m, the GoPro camera can achieve a relative accuracy of 1.3 mm in air and 2.0 mm in water. The system camera achieved an accuracy of 1.8 mm in water, which meets our requirements for coral measurement in this system.