Underwater 3D Scanner Model Using a Biaxial MEMS Mirror

Underwater 3D laser scanners are an essential type of sensor used by unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) for operations such as navigation, inspection and object recognition and manipulation. These sensors need to be able to provide highly accurate 3D data at fast refresh rates in order to accomplish these tasks. Usually, these scanners rely on a rotating mirror actuated by a galvanometer. However, the light planes steered by this type of mirrors are typically deformed into cones due to refraction. In order to produce accurate results, this distortion needs to be taken into account, which increases the computational cost of the 3D reconstruction. A novel approach consisting in using a biaxial MEMS mirror is proposed in this paper. The second rotational degree of freedom of the mirror can be used to project optimally curved light shapes, so that the refraction process transforms them into planes. Being able to model the light surfaces as planes rather than cones can significantly reduce the computation time of the 3D reconstruction. In order to do so, an exhaustive model of the complete light trajectories is presented. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this paper constitutes the first attempt to model and counteract the distortion in the scanning pattern introduced by a biaxial mirror and a double refraction process in the context of underwater robotics ​
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