Our objective is to develop a prototype, underwater holographic camera for recording high-resolution, 3-d images of marine plankton and seston within the upper water column. The "holo-camera" will be controlled and deployed from a ship or fixed buoy. A dedicated, hologram replay facility containing automated image analysis and data extraction will allow species identification and measurement of local concentration of a variety of organisms and particles. We will demonstrate and evaluate the system in a series of sea trials. The overriding benefit of holographic imaging is that it allows nonintrusive, in-situ, recording of living organisms and inanimate particles in their natural environment. Novel aspects include our use of pulsed lasers to record large sample volumes (about 100 l) and incorporation of both in-line and off-axis holography depending on the specific requirements of the user. Although recording takes place in water, image replay (a projected real-image) is carried out in air, in a customised laboratory replay and data aquisition facility. Image processing of holographic real-images has hitherto received little attention and represents another unique and novel contribution by the project team.
This multidisciplinary and multinational project, covers marine science, laser technology, holography, image processing and offshore technology. The proposal describes how the individual components are developed and integrated into the final system before deployment in sea trials. It is important that all partners work towards the same common aims, and that each is informed of the progress of others. To this end, the project proposal contains not only a detailed work-plan, a description of methodology and projected time-scales, but a simple and effective management and reporting structure.
We believe that our proposal is a unique application of modern optics in marine sciences, which addresses the objectives of MAST-III and its priority themes. Its successful completion will enhance our knowledge of the behaviour of marine biological communities, their relationship with each other and with the particles with which they interact. For the first time, detailed local interactions between meso-zooplankton and micro-zooplankton , phytoplankton and seston can be observed, recorded and quantitatively determined. This has hitherto been difficult or impossible.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
UB8 3PH Uxbridge
SO14 3ZH Southampton
91941 Les Ulis