Novel method for creating underwater maps

Prof. Dr. Andreas Birk and colleague Tim Hansen.
(c) Constructor University

Dr. Andreas Birk, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Constructor University in Bremen, and his Ph.D. fellow, Tim Hansen, have developed an innovative method for processing sensor data that enables the creation of underwater maps in real time and with better quality than previous methods.

Accurate underwater map data is typically collected with sonars that use multiple beams in parallel. With the method developed by Constructor University scientists, it is possible to use simple and much less costly single beam sonars than up until now.

“Compared to the state of the art, our approach is cheaper and produces better quality maps,” Birk said.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Birk and colleague Tim Hansen with one of the underwater robots at Constructor University.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Birk and colleague Tim Hansen with one of the underwater robots at Constructor University. (c) Constructor University

It is based on a new form of signal processing called “synthetic scan formation.” The method uses an initial rough localization of the robot to form a scan, a local survey of the environment, from the sonar data. The scan is registered with other scans, i.e., the information contained therein is used to determine the spatial relationships between them.

The repetition of this process allows optimized scans with respect to their relative positions and orientations. The velocity of the process even allows to generate maps in real-time.

The scientists tested their software in the U-boat bunker “Valentin” located in Bremen-Farge, one of the largest armament projects of the military navy during the Nazi era. With their new method, which they developed in the frame of a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), they successfully mapped the difficult-to-access and submerged spaces in the bunker.

Entitled “Synthetic Scan Formation for Underwater Mapping with Low-Cost Mechanical Scanning Sonars,” the scientists’ research results have now been published as open source in the journal “IEEE Explore.” Birk wants to make his results available to broader audiences, which is why the source code is also generally accessible; industrial collaborations are also possible.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Birk | Professor für Elektrotechnik und Informatik
abirk@constructor.university | Tel.: +49 421 200-3113

Weitere Informationen:

Article link:
DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3312186

Media Contact

Daisy Juknischke-Heinsen Corporate Communications
Constructor University

All latest news from the category: Process Engineering

This special field revolves around processes for modifying material properties (milling, cooling), composition (filtration, distillation) and type (oxidation, hydration).

Valuable information is available on a broad range of technologies including material separation, laser processes, measuring techniques and robot engineering in addition to testing methods and coating and materials analysis processes.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Pancreatic cancer’s cellular amnesia

Things aren’t always as they seem. Take pancreatic cancer, for example. In up to one in 10 cases, researchers have documented a peculiar characteristic. Some of the pancreatic cells appear…

Innovative Polymer Wound Dressings for Painless and Residue-Free Removal

A new approach enables dressings that adhere firmly to the skin at body temperature, but can be removed easily and painlessly in combination with a cold pack. The dressing adheres…

SETI Institute launches groundbreaking technosignature science and technology

Application deadline for grants is July 15, 2024. The SETI Institute is announcing the launch of a pioneering grants program dedicated to advancing technosignature science. This first-of-its-kind initiative aims to…

Partners & Sponsors