Spotter Meets 3D Vision in the Mediterranean Sea

The ISMAR research team led by Dr. Alvise Benetazzo studies the interaction between atmosphere and ocean. They use a wide range of instruments to track wind dynamics and the ocean response (wind waves). In their research, the team deploys a Spotter next to the Acqua Alta oceanographic tower in the northern Adriatic Sea Italy, to integrate the data into the data acquisition system installed on the tower. In addition, they visually track the Spotter’s motion in rough seas with the latest in 3D computer vision techniques.

The ISMAR research team also uses the Spotter to study wave growth effects in Lake Garda (Italy, see Figure 1). The daily wind regime for Lake Garda is characterized by daily 180o changes in wind direction (wind inversion), which drives complicated surface dynamics on the lake. The Spotter, due to its small size and responsiveness to short, wind-driven waves is suited to make measurements in this dynamic environment.

Figure 1 Spotter deployed in Lake Garda to measure wave effects driven by strong diurnal winds over the lake. Photo credits Dr. Francesco Barbariol.

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"...extremely pleased with its performance, capabilities and how user friendly it is. We have been using it quite often since it arrived, for cage maintenance inspections, seafloor bottom benthic monitoring, and recently we have used it to check on our mooring and anchor systems which are in deeper water than our divers are allowed to go."