Marine Imaging
Marine Imaging
Harnessing light for enhancing underwater vision

Turbid waters often restrict underwater visibility to less than 1m, posing a natural obstacle for the inspection of manmade or natural subaqueous objects. QCELL brings the SpectralSea technology to address one of the most challenging and high-impact problems in maritime operations: Clear imaging in turbid waters.

SpectralSea is a video rate spectral imager offering a physics-based primary enhancement of the underwater visibility, which is complemented with advanced, real-time algorithms recognizing and deconvolving the scattering component. The SpectralSea camera comes with an 200 m (or shorter) cable for both data and power transmission.

Harnessing light for enhancing underwater vision

Turbid waters often restrict underwater visibility to less than 1m, posing a natural obstacle for the inspection of manmade or natural subaqueous objects. QCELL brings the SpectralSea technology to address one of the most challenging and high-impact problems in maritime operations: Clear imaging in turbid waters.

SpectralSea is a video rate spectral imager offering a physics-based primary enhancement of the underwater visibility, which is complemented with advanced, real-time algorithms recognizing and deconvolving the scattering component. The SpectralSea camera comes with an 200 m (or shorter) cable for both data and power transmission.

The SpectralSea camera in action: Color imaging (left) and deconvoluted spectral imaging (right), remarkably improving underwater visibility in real-time.

SpectralSea camera is an important innovation enabling biofouling inspection in turbid/murky waters and supporting ship-hull cleaning decisions thus delivering large savings to the shipping industry, while, at the same time, protecting the environment though the reduction of fuel consumption. It also comprises today’s best underwater imaging technology, offering maximum visibility for inspecting fish farms and aquatic plants, as well as for marine archaeology and marine research.
SpectralSea camera is an important innovation enabling biofouling inspection in turbid/murky waters and supporting ship-hull cleaning decisions thus delivering large savings to the shipping industry, while, at the same time, protecting the environment though the reduction of fuel consumption. It also comprises today’s best underwater imaging technology, offering maximum visibility for inspecting fish farms and aquatic plants, as well as for marine archaeology and marine research.
SpectralSea Camera
Spectral Sea Camera

SpectralSea is the world’s first passive spectral camera offering video rate simultaneous multichannel imaging, spanning both the visible and the near infrared spectral regions. The camera can be mounted on a stationary underwater stand, on an Autonomous (uncrewed) Underwater Vehicle (AUV) or on a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). ROV operation is fully supported since the camera comes with a 200m (or shorter) Gigabit Ethernet connection for both power and signal transfer.

The SpectralSea camera acquires images in the visible and in the Near Infrared spectral regions and displays them side-by-side and in real-time. All the imaging channels are processed with fast algorithms, resulting in crisp imaging through turbid waters.

The SpectralSea camera (left) adapts to several underwater drone platforms (images above feature the Blurobotics platform).

SpectralSea is the world’s first passive spectral camera offering video rate simultaneous multichannel imaging, spanning both the visible and the near infrared spectral regions. The camera can be mounted on a stationary underwater stand, on an Autonomous (uncrewed) Underwater Vehicle (AUV) or on a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). ROV operation is fully supported since the camera comes with a 200m (or shorter) Gigabit Ethernet connection for both power and signal transfer.

The SpectralSea camera acquires images in the visible and in the Near Infrared spectral regions and displays them side-by-side and in real-time. All the imaging channels are processed with fast algorithms, resulting in crisp imaging through turbid waters.

The SpectralSea camera (left) adapts to several underwater drone platforms (images above feature the Blurobotics platform).

QCELL offers the SpectralSea camera, the world’s first video rate spectral imager improving underwater visibility in real time.
QCELL offers the SpectralSea camera, the world’s first video rate spectral imager improving underwater visibility in real time.
Technology & Specifications
Technology & Specifications

Conventional technologies offering improved underwater visibility and color restoration require range scanning and multiple image capturing to feed physical or computational models. These processes are time consuming and deliver results off-line. Because of these limitations, these technologies are more useful for photography rather than for real-time inspection and quantitative mapping.

SpectralSea technology is physics based, exploiting the wavelength dependence of the absorption and scattering characteristics of water suspended particles, both determining imaging quality and visibility range. Real time spectral imaging offers the distinct advantage of allowing live inspection in several narrow spectral bands simultaneously in the visible and the invisible portions of the spectrum.

Video rate spectral image acquisition offers spectroscopy-based visibility enhancement, a process that is complemented with advanced, real-time algorithms recognizing and deconvolving the scattering components.

Conventional technologies offering improved underwater visibility and color restoration require range scanning and multiple image capturing to feed physical or computational models. These processes are time consuming and deliver results off-line. Because of these limitations, these technologies are more useful for photography rather than for real-time inspection and quantitative mapping.

SpectralSea technology is physics based, exploiting the wavelength dependence of the absorption and scattering characteristics of water suspended particles, both determining imaging quality and visibility range. Real time spectral imaging offers the distinct advantage of allowing live inspection in several narrow spectral bands simultaneously in the visible and the invisible portions of the spectrum.

Video rate spectral image acquisition offers spectroscopy-based visibility enhancement, a process that is complemented with advanced, real-time algorithms recognizing and deconvolving the scattering components.

Color image of a resolution target submerged in turbid water, captured with the corresponding mode of SpectralSea camera.

Deconvoluted spectral image captured with the corresponding mode of SpectralSea camera. All the details of the resolution target have now become clearly visible.

The QCELL’s SpectralSea camera exploits light-matter interaction physics and adapts its spectral sensitivity to wavelengths that correspond to more “transparent” optical windows thus maximizing underwater visibility. The SpectralSea camera integrates advanced algorithms calculating and removing the scattering components that degrade imaging quality.

The QCELL’s SpectralSea camera exploits light-matter interaction physics and adapts its spectral sensitivity to wavelengths that correspond to more “transparent” optical windows thus maximizing underwater visibility. The SpectralSea camera integrates advanced algorithms calculating and removing the scattering components that degrade imaging quality.

SpectralSea Camera Specifications

  • Imaging spectral range: 400-1100nm
  • Spectral Bands: 6 narrow bands spanning the full spectral range plus one color image, all acquired simultaneously and at video rates
  • Fluorescence Imaging: Yes with (optional) excitation light source
  • Spatial Resolution: 3040X2048, (6MP)
  • Data transfer line: GigE, or USB 3
  • Data transfer speed: 17-25f/s @ 200 m distance for the full seven image pack
  • Lens: 10 mm standard (other options available)
  • Dimensions: D=114,3mm, L=350mm
  • Weight: 1.5 Kg (including the water proof case)
  • Max depth: 150m
  • Computer requirements: i5 or better
  • Lighting systems: not required in shallow waters. It accepts illumination modules that are powered through the camera’s cable
  • Software: Camera sensitivity controls, calibration, real time enhancers, image fusion and deconvolution tools and biofouling classification and mapping.

SpectralSea Camera Specifications

  • Imaging spectral range: 400-1100nm
  • Spectral Bands: 6 narrow bands spanning the full spectral range plus one color image, all acquired simultaneously and at video rates
  • Fluorescence Imaging: Yes with (optional) excitation light source
  • Spatial Resolution: 3040X2048, (6MP)
  • Data transfer line: GigE, or USB 3
  • Data transfer speed: 17-25f/s @ 200 m distance for the full seven image pack
  • Lens: 10 mm standard (other options available)
  • Dimensions: D=114,3mm, L=350mm
  • Weight: 1.5 Kg (including the water proof case)
  • Max depth: 150m
  • Computer requirements: i5 or better
  • Lighting systems: not required in shallow waters. It accepts illumination modules that are powered through the camera’s cable
  • Software: Camera sensitivity controls, calibration, real time enhancers, image fusion and deconvolution tools and biofouling classification and mapping.

The SpectralSea camera

Applications
Applications
The SpectralSea camera transferring power and imaging data to a host computer connected with 200 m (or shorter) cable for both data and power transmission
Improving underwater visibility for Biofouling Imaging and Grading

The SpectralSea camera remarkably improves the visibility in murky port waters offering access to the status of biofouling accumulated in the hull of the ships. Biofouling of ship’s hull increases drug, reduces efficiency and increases fuel consumption and the associated environmental footprint. The SpectralSea camera performs objective assessment of biofouling even in murky port waters and supports cleaning decision-making and guidance, thus delivering large savings to the industry and protecting the environment.

The SpectralSea camera integrates efficient algorithms capable of quantitative mapping and grading of biofouling. One major advantage of the SpectralSea camera is that biofouling grading mapping is displayed at video rate, a unique feature allowing for live inspections and for real time evaluation and guidance of the cleaning process.
The SpectralSea camera transferring power and imaging data to a host computer connected with 200 m (or smaller) cable for both data and power transmission
Improving underwater visibility for Biofouling Imaging and Grading

The SpectralSea camera remarkably improves the visibility in murky port waters offering access to the status of biofouling accumulated in the hull of the ships. Biofouling of ship’s hull increases drug, reduces efficiency and increases fuel consumption and the associated environmental footprint. The SpectralSea camera performs objective assessment of biofouling even in murky port waters and supports cleaning decision-making and guidance, thus delivering large savings to the industry and protecting the environment.

The SpectralSea camera integrates efficient algorithms capable of quantitative mapping and grading of biofouling. One major advantage of the SpectralSea camera is that biofouling grading mapping is displayed at video rate, a unique feature allowing for live inspections and for real time evaluation and guidance of the cleaning process.

Color images of ship hull biofouling captured with a SpectralSea camera (left). Differences in the amounts of biofouling deposited are not evident.

Biofouling spectral mapping-based grading (right).

Differences in the amounts of biofouling deposited are now clearly seen. Blue-green regions represent early stage biofouling, yellow red represent later stages.

As a member of an international consortium, QCELL was awarded a prestigious EU grant, the EIC- Fast Track to Innovation 2018-2020 “Spectral Imaging Powered Ship Hull Biofouling Detection and Cleaning”. Within the context of this program QCELL developed a Spectral Imaging Camera for detecting and guiding cleaning of biofouling on ship’s hulls. For more info, please visit:

https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/950854

https://www.sleekship.eu/partners/

SleekShip comprises a Semi-Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (SAUV) carrying the SpectralSea camera that captures light wavelength bands where light backscattering is less and the slime is easier to distinguish despite contamination. The inspection can take place in port waters while the ship is docked for other operations thus no additional charter-off time is incurred. An integrated cavitation-based cleaning tool allows for 100% paint-safe cleaning. The Project offers a sustainable way to mitigate biofouling by detecting it at an early stage (Level of Fouling – LoF 1), while it can still be cleaned with soft methods that do not damage hull paint or coating.

The consortium comprises SubseaTech, a dynamic manufacturer of underwater robots, QCELL, a high-tech SME specialising in hyperspectral imaging, M. Danchor a leading cleaning and inspection services company, TWI, the global leader in image-based underwater inspection technologies and Danaos, a NYSE-listed containership owner.

As a member of an international consortium, QCELL was awarded a prestigious EU grant, the EIC- Fast Track to Innovation 2018-2020 “Spectral Imaging Powered Ship Hull Biofouling Detection and Cleaning”. Within the context of this program QCELL developed a Spectral Imaging Camera for detecting and guiding the cleaning of biofouling on ship’s hulls. For more info, please visit:

https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/950854

https://www.sleekship.eu/partners/

SleekShip comprises a Semi-Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (SAUV) carrying the SpectralSea camera that captures light wavelength bands where light backscattering is less and the slime is easier to distinguish despite contamination. The inspection can take place in port waters while the ship is docked for other operations thus no additional charter-off time is incurred. An integrated cavitation-based cleaning tool allows for 100% paint-safe cleaning. The Project offers a sustainable way to mitigate biofouling by detecting it at an early stage (Level of Fouling – LoF 1), while it can still be cleaned with soft methods that do not damage hull paint or coating.

The consortium comprises SubseaTech, a dynamic manufacturer of underwater robots, QCELL, a high-tech SME specialising in hyperspectral imaging, M.Danchor a leading cleaning and inspection services company, TWI, the global leader in image-based underwater inspection technologies and Danaos, a NYSE-listed containership owner.

The Tortuga SAUV developed by our French partner Subsea Tech that will carry the SpectralSea camera and ship hull cleaning tools are the main deliverables of the EU-funded SleekShip project

Improving underwater visibility for monitoring fish farms

QCELL’s SpectralSea camera comprises the technology of choice for the fish culturists for setting up underwater inspection systems for monitoring, with high visibility, fish activity, feeding status, welfare and waste.

The camera can be mounted on a stationary underwater stand and transfer real time inspection data to land stations.

The SpectralSea camera is a passive spectral imager operating with ambient light. When additional external illumination is required the camera can switch to the near infrared mode, utilizing near infrared lighting, without disturbing aquatic life.

Improving underwater visibility for monitoring fish farms

QCELL’s SpectralSea camera comprises the technology of choice for the fish culturists for setting up underwater inspection systems for monitoring, with high visibility, fish activity, feeding status, welfare and waste.

The camera can be mounted on a stationary underwater stand and transfer real time inspection data to land stations.

The SpectralSea camera is a passive spectral imager operating with ambient light. When additional external illumination is required the camera can switch to the near infrared mode, utilizing near infrared lighting, without disturbing aquatic life.