Underwater stereo using natural flickering illumination

Yohay Swirski, Yoav Y. Schechner, Ben Herzberg, Shahriar Negahdaripour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Computer vision is challenged by the underwater environment. Poor visibility, geometrical distortions and nonuniform illumination typically make underwater vision less trivial than open air vision. One effect which can be rather strong in this domain is sunlight flicker. Here, submerged objects and the water volume itself are illuminated in a natural random pattern, which is spatially and temporally varying. This phenomenon has been considered mainly as a significant disturbance to vision. We show that the spatiotemporal variations of flicker can actually be beneficial to underwater vision. Specifically, flicker disambiguates stereo correspondence. This disambiguation is very simple, yet it yields accurate results. Under flickering illumination, each object point in the scene has a unique, unambiguous temporal signature. This temporal signature enables us to find dense and accurate correspondence underwater. This process may be enhanced by involving the spatial variability of the flicker field in the solution. The method is demonstrated underwater by in-situ experiments. This method may be useful to a wide range of shallow underwater applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMTS/IEEE Seattle, OCEANS 2010
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
EventMTS/IEEE Seattle, OCEANS 2010 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Sep 20 2010Sep 23 2010

Publication series

NameMTS/IEEE Seattle, OCEANS 2010


OtherMTS/IEEE Seattle, OCEANS 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Underwater stereo using natural flickering illumination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this