Frequency-based underwater terrain segmentation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



A method for segmenting three-dimensional data of underwater unstructured terrains is presented. The three-dimensional point clouds are converted to two-dimensional elevation maps and analyzed for segmentation in the frequency domain. The lower frequency components represent the slower varying undulations of the underlying ground. The cut-off frequency, below which the frequency components form the ground surface, is determined automatically using peak detection. The user can also specify a maximum admissible size of objects to drive the automatic detection of the cut-off frequency. The points above the estimated ground surface are clustered via standard proximity clustering to form object segments. The precision of the segmentation is compared against ground truth hand labelled data acquired by a stereo camera pair and a structured light sensor. It is also evaluated for registration error when the extracted segments are used for sub-map alignment. The proposed approach is compared to three point cloud based and two image based segmentation algorithms. The results show that the approach is applicable to a range of different terrains and is able to generate features useful for navigation. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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