COMPARISON OF DIVER-OPERATED UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAMMETRIC SYSTEMS FOR CORAL REEF MONITORING
Keywords: underwater photogrammetry, underwater geodetic network, coral reef accretion, coral reef dissolution, camera evaluation, deformation analysis, accuracy evaluation
Abstract. Underwater photogrammetry is a well-established technique for measuring and modelling the subaquatic environment in fields ranging from archaeology to marine ecology. While for simple tasks the acquisition and processing of images have become straightforward, applications requiring relative accuracy better then 1:1000 are still considered challenging. This study focuses on the metric evaluation of different off-the-shelf camera systems for making high resolution and high accuracy measurements of coral reefs monitoring through time, where the variations to be measured are in the range of a few centimeters per year. High quality and low-cost systems (reflex and mirrorless vs action cameras, i.e. GoPro) with multiple lenses (prime and zoom), different fields of views (from fisheye to moderate wide angle), pressure housing materials and lens ports (dome and flat) are compared. Tests are repeated at different camera to object distances to investigate distance dependent induced errors and assess the accuracy of the photogrammetrically derived models. An extensive statistical analysis of the different systems is performed and comparisons against reference control point measured through a high precision underwater geodetic network are reported.