OCEANS'16 Monterey

The Student Poster Program has been initiated by Norman Miller in 1989 and became an integral part of the OCEANS conferences in 1991. Since then, more than 700 students have participated in this program. This 38th Student Poster Program of the OCEANS Conferences was held at OCEANS’16 MTS/IEEE Monterey, at the Monterey Marriott, from September 19 to September 23. As for the previous Student Poster Competitions, outstanding posters describe the work that the students were presenting and were particularly appreciated by the attendees of the conference. Moreover, the student participants greatly appreciated the opportunity to display, exchange and describe their research work to the community.
     The program was organized by Liesl Hotaling as local coordinator and Philippe Courmontagne, SPC Chair, from IEEE OES. For this 38th edition, more than 100 abstracts were received, 18 were selected, not without difficulty given the high quality of the received abstracts, only 16 students were able to attend the conference. The students were from 6 countries, coming from schools in Europe, Asia and the USA. The program was supported by funding from the US Navy Office of Naval Research, which enabled the students to attend the conference.

Keeping one eye on the students.

     The posters were judged by a team organized by IEEE OES and the local chair. The roster of students and their schools are (in order of appearance of the Program Book):

  • Joshua Baghdady, Clemson University
  • Carlos Gonçalves, INESC TEC/FEUP
  • Jorge Pedro Matos, Instituto Superior Tecnico—University of Lisbon
  • Antony Pottier, Telecom Bretagne
  • Mohammad Haghighat, University of Miami
  • Huai Huang, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Zheng Jiang, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • Conghui Zhang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Jose Valente, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto
  • Manuel Silva, FEUP
  • Niaz Ahmed, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • John McKay, Pennsylvania State University
  • Joshua Mangelson, Perceptual Robotics Laboratory, University of Michigan
  • Yu Zhang, The University of Tokyo
  • Xinlong Lui, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Yue Ma, Memorial University of Newfoundland

     The judging was completed on Wednesday and the prizes were awarded during the Gala Dinner at the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Liesl Hotaling opened the awards ceremony and presented, with Philippe Courmontagne, each student with a Certificate of Participation in the OCEANS’16 MTS/IEEE Monterey.
     Then, René Garello, IEEE OES President, and Ray Toll, MTS President, presented the third place winner to Yue Ma, from Newfoundland. Next, they presented the second price to Mohammad Haghighat, from USA. The first price, the “Norman Miller’s Price”, has been presented by Ray and René, to Joshua Baghdady, from the Clemson University, for his poster entitled “Underwater Optical Communication Link Using Orbital Angular Momentum Space-Division Multiplexing”.
     The audience gave the students a big hand following the awards presentations. The session ended with a photograph session.
     The roster of students and their poster titles are given below with an abstract of their paper.

Joshua Baghdady, Clemson University
Underwater optical communication link using Orbital Angular Momentum Space-Division Multiplexing
This work presents a novel and robust underwater optical communication link designed to address the growing need for high-bandwidth underwater communication systems. Space division multiplexing is demonstrated via Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) using two laser sources over a link distance of 2.96 m and is shown to yield a collective data rate of 3 Gbit/s at an average bit error ratio (BER) of 1.76 × 10–4, well below the forward error correction (FEC) threshold. Techniques are discussed for further broadening of the communications bandwidth via scalable expansion of the model developed herein.

Carlos Gonçalves, INESC TEC/FEUP
Design and development of SHAD—a Small Hovering AUV with Differential actuation
This paper presents the design and development of a new Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). SHAD, which stands for Small Hovering AUV with Differential actuation, is a torpedo shaped vehicle that was conceptually designed to navigate in challenging volumes. It brings to the scene of submarine robotics a different model and new design of AUV. The small size, the light weight and the high maneuverability of this AUV were among the most important features that can make the SHAD an option to applications where other models have difficulties. This paper details the design and the development of SHAD and presents experimental results from sensors and actuators testing as well as vehicle navigation.

Jorge Pedro Matos, Instituto Superior Tecnico—University of Lisbon
Robust Tracking of Vessels in Oceanographic Airborne Images
In this paper we present and evaluate an algorithm for tracking vessels in oceanographic airborne image sequences on the visible spectrum. Such sequences are challenging due to sun reflections, wakes, wave crests and fast motions, which significantly degrade the performance of general purpose tracking algorithms.
     The proposed method is based on state-of-the-art correlation filter tracking complemented with an image segmentation and blob analysis stage. The purpose of this later stage is to re-center the target in the tracking window to compensate for drifts in the correlation filter. We evaluate our proposal using a known benchmark in the field and compare it with general purpose tracking algorithms. Results show that our method beats the general purpose state-of-the-art tracking algorithms in the airborne maritime scenario both in performance and in computation time.

Antony Pottier, Telecom Bretagne
Power-Efficient Spectrum Sharing for Noncooperative
Underwater Acoustic Communication Systems
     This paper aims at studying underwater acoustic OFDM communication systems interfering with each others in the same channel. We propose a decentralized spectrum sharing method that minimizes the total power consumed while satisfying a constraint related to their information rate. The considered systems are supposed noncooperative, i.e. unable to communicate with each others so that they cannot agree on a fair resource sharing scheme. The problem is formulated within the framework of game theory and solved according to the Nash Equilibrium concept. Several results are presented and show that interfering UA systems can share the spectrum in a more efficient way, both in terms of energy consumption and information rate.

Mohammad Haghighat, University of Miami
Segmentation, Classification and Modeling of Two-Dimensional Forward-Scan Sonar Imagery for Efficient Coding and Synthesis
In this paper, we present methods for segmenting noisy two-dimensional forward-scan sonar images and classify and model their background. The segmentation approach differentiates the highlight blobs, cast shadows, and the background of sonar images. There is usually little information within relatively large background regions corresponding to the flat sea bottom and (or) water column, as they are often corrupted with speckle noise. Our experiments show that the background texture is dominated by the speckle noise which has the appearance of a pseudo-random texture. We show that the background texture of the underwater sonar images can be categorized by a small number of classes. The statistical features work better than the texture-based features in categorizing the pseudo-random background, which further strengthen our hypothesis of the dominance of noise over the background texture.
     As a result, we can model the noisy background with a few parameters. This has an application in coding the sonar images in which highlight blob regions and cast shadows are coded at the encoder side while the speckle noise-corrupted background can be synthesized at the decoder side. Since the background regions occupy a large fraction of the FS sonar image, we expect higher compression rates than most current image or video coding standards and other custom-designed sonar image compression techniques.

Huai Huang, Missouri University of Science and Technology
AoA Assisted Localization for Underwater Ad-Hoc Sensor

In this paper, We propose angle of arrival (AoA) assisted localization scheme for underwater Ad-Hoc sensor networks in 2-D and 3-D. This scheme estimates distances from sensor nodes to anchor nodes via multi-hops with the help of AoA measurements. By forwarding distance at each node hop-byhop, the distance estimations can be flooded to the whole network. Once a sensor node got distance estimations from at least three (in 2-D) or four (3-D) anchor nodes, the location of the sensor node is calculated. Comparing to the existing localization schemes in Ad-Hoc networks: DV-distance, DV-hop, and Euclidean propagation, the simulation results show that our proposed method improves localization accuracy significantly while keeping high localization coverage.

Zheng Jiang, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
An Open-Source Control software to the Virtual submerged floating operational system (VSFOS)
     Virtual submerged floating operational system (VSFOS), built in the laboratory environment, consisted of an ABB robot, the IRC5 controller, a six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) parallel robotic motion platform, an inertial navigation sensor and a real-time industrial computer, can make it possible to do all kinds of underwater operational simulation experiments very easily and expediently. In this paper, an open-source control software to the VSFOS is introduced, this software, which is compatible with all the ABB robots that use IRC5 controller, works as a remote-control end to the VSFOS, it can not only receive and analyze the data collected by the inertial navigation sensor, but also ”talks to” the IRC5 controller and ”tells” the robot how to work, no need of any other input devices that matches the robot or to obtain the communication protocol of the robot, that is, this software can break the communication blockade of traditional industrial manipulator, and expand the real-time control methods of the manipulator. Finally, simulation experiments of the VSFOS have been done to test the feasibility and stability of the software.

Conghui Zhang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Chaotic Modulation Detection for Underwater Acoustic
Communications via Instantaneous Features
Modulation detection is important for underwater military communications and warfare applications. Chaotic modulations based on chaotic sequences are proposed to protect confidential underwater communications. In this paper, we develop a detection algorithm employing instantaneous phase and frequency for underwater acoustic communications. The key features derived from instantaneous phase and frequency are used to detect two chaotic modulations. They are chaotic M-ary phase shift keying (CMPSK) and chaotic M-ary frequency shift keying (CMFSK), which are designed to provide confidential underwater communications. Simulation and experimental results confirm the effectiveness of our proposed algorithm for chaotic modulation detection.

Jose Valente, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto
Real-time TDOA measurements of an underwater acoustic source
The direction of arrival of sound waves has been extensively used for passive acoustic tracking of underwater sound sources, such as marine mammals or ultrasonic electronic tags attached to animals or submerged equipment. This process can be automated by measuring the time difference of arrival (TDOA) of the sound wave arriving to two or more hydrophones and then calculating the relative direction of the acoustic source using those time differences. Although the generalized crosscorrelation between the received signals is a common technique for determining the TDOA, the underwater environment introduces several distortions in amplitude and phase of the received sound waves due to reflections and reverberation, particularly in confined spaces. This is aggravated by the variation of the sound propagation speed with temperature, pressure and salinity. Because of this, the use of the cross-correlation method not effective to determine the TDOA especially when using single frequency pulses as the transmitted signal. In this work we propose an alternative method to calculate the TDOA, consisting in the analysis of the initial part of the received signals to discover a series of similar zero-crossing periods to identify their beginning, and then calculating the time difference between them. We have implemented this technique in a reconfigurable systemon-chip, attaching to an embedded ARM processor a custom designed digital signal processing system. This has been tested in a test tank and in outside environment. This system is capable of computing in real-time the 2D direction of an underwater acoustic transmitter, and combining the different directions resulting from the relative movement between transmitter and receiver it is possible to estimate the relative position of the acoustic source.

Manuel Silva, FEUP
Remote supervision system for aquaculture platforms
     Aquaculture processes usually take place in remote and harsh environments, and are highly dependent on uncontrollable and unpredictable variables, therefore its monitoring and supervision can be a key factor in this activity. Taking that into account, this paper proposes a solution for a Remote Supervision System for Aquaculture Platforms, that contemplates a modular, reconfigurable and expandable sensor network based on the I2C protocol, which is composed by two different types of sensor nodes.
     The main sensor node, which serves as the sensor network coordinator and as a gateway, and the tiny sensor nodes, that are responsible for simple data collection tasks.


Niaz Ahmed, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Multi-Coil MI Based MAC Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks
Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol is an important metric of wireless sensor networks because of its high impact on network performance. This paper proposes an energy efficient MAC protocol that can be used for both terrestrial and underwater wireless sensor networks. The state transition diagram has been presented in the paper and current consumption for each state has been recorded to evaluate the energy efficiency of the proposed MAC protocol.



John McKay, Pennsylvania State University
Robust Sonar ATR with Pose Corrected Sparse Reconstruction-Based Classification
Sonar imaging has seen vast improvements over the last few decades due in part to advances in synthetic aperture Sonar (SAS). Because of this, sophisticated classification techniques originally developed for other tasks can be used in Sonar automatic target recognition (ATR) to locate mines and other threatening objects. Among the most promising of these methods is sparse reconstruction-based classification (SRC) which has shown an impressive resiliency to noise, blur, and occlusion even in settings with little training. We present a coherent strategy for using SRC for Sonar ATR that retains SRC’s robustness while also being able to handle targets with diverse geometric arrangements. Our method, pose corrected sparsity (PCS), incorporates state-of-the-art dictionary learning schemes on localized block extractions which we show produces compelling classification results on the RAWSAS dataset.

Joshua Mangelson, Perceptual Robotics Laboratory, University of Michigan
Robust Visual Fiducials for Skin-to-Skin Relative Ship Pose Estimation
This paper reports on an optical visual fiducial system developed for relative-pose estimation of two ships at sea. Visual fiducials are ubiquitous in the robotics literature, however none are specifically designed for use in outdoor lighting conditions. Blooming of the CCD causes a significant bias in the estimated pose of square tags that use the outer corners as point correspondences. In this paper, we augment existing state-of-the-art visual fiducials with a border of circles that enables high accuracy, robust pose estimation. We also present a methodology for characterizing tag measurement uncertainty on a per measurement basis. We integrate these methods into a relative ship motion estimation system and support our results using outdoor imagery and field data collected aboard the USNS John Glenn and USNS Bob Hope during skin-to-skin operations.



Yu Zhang, The University of Tokyo
New method of fish classification by using high-resolution acoustic video camera-ARIS and local invariant feature descriptor
A new observation method of fish classification by using acoustic video camera (ARIS) at 3.0 MHz center frequency was developed. Using the method, high-quality acoustic image was obtained. After getting the acoustic image of fish by ARIS, we utilized a method called Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) into fish classification instead of the method that we used before, which is called Normalized Cross Correlation (NCC), and then we compared and contrasted position matching rate of the two methods of NCC and SIFT, and improved the SIFT algorithm to increase the accuracy.


Xinlong Lui, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Wind Direction Determination From Rain-Contaminated X-Band Radar Images
A two-dimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition (2D-EEMD)-based method is presented to improve wind direction retrieval from rain-contaminated X-band nautical radar sea surface images. 2D-EEMD is first implemented to decompose each rain-contaminated radar image into several intrinsic mode function (IMF) components. Then, a harmonic function that is least-squares fitted to the standard deviation of the first IMF component as a function of azimuth is used to retrieve the wind direction. Radar and anemometer data acquired in a sea trial off the east coast of Canada under rain conditions are employed to test the algorithm. The result shows that, compared to the traditional curve fitting method, the proposed method improves the wind direction results in rain events, showing a reduction of 35.9º in the root-mean-square (RMS) difference with respect to the reference.

Yue Ma, Memorial University of Newfoundland
First-Order High Frequency Radar Ocean Surface Cross Section Incorporating a Dual-Frequency Platform Motion Model
     The first-order high frequency radar cross section of the ocean surface is derived for an antenna on a floating platform. In this analysis, simulations are conducted for more complicated platform motion than appear in earlier work and comparisons are made to model outputs for a fixed antenna.
     Results show that motion-induced peaks appear symmetrically in the Doppler frequency. The magnitude and width of the Bragg peaks are seen to decrease and broaden, respectively, as compared to the case for a fixed antenna.


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