The Virtual Periscope enables underwater vehicles to image the environment above the ocean surface via a camera located below the surface without the need to raise a periscope through the surface. The technology involves an upward-looking polarimetric camera that relies on variations of the shape of the ocean surface caused by waves and the refraction of light traveling between two media of differing refractive index (air and water) to capture information about the shape of the ocean surface. A polarimetric camera takes multiple component images, then an algorithm is used to remove distortion caused by the wavy surface.
Ocean-going submarines, defense, serveillance and security, study of water waves and fluid mechanics
Allows observation of water surface while reducing the need to expose a conventional periscope above the water.
US Patent 7,630,077 issued
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Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property