UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Wavelets Under Water

Technology from Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Truong Nguyen is improving the “sight” and “speech” of a new remote-control submarine the Navy is testing
off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The so-called REMUS would, among other jobs, help operators on shore or in surface boats to distinguish mines from other undersea objects, thus reducing the number of false alarms that Navy personnel would have to survey in person.

Algorithms developed by Truong help the battery powered REMUS overcome both poor visibility and limited bandwidth underwater where acoustic modems operate at most at 1,200 baud, far short of the bandwidth needed for conventional imaging. Truong’s wavelet processing algorithms supplement the image during decompression to draw out defining details. The algorithms also guide image capture, helping cameras choose the data that REMUS sends back.