The UHI works in concert with any other mapping tool, whether a straight line or a detailed mapping transect is required. Based on feedback from an initial transect, certain areas of interest can be revisited and examined in greater detail.
Example: Salmon lice detection
Salmon lice is a parasite living on salmon. In salmon farms, where numbers of salmon live together in a net-cage, salmon lice population can grow so high that it causes severe threat both to farmed and wild salmon population. Counting salmon lice by traditional, invasive methods causes serious stress on the salmon. Also, small lice are often not detected. Having tools to automatically detect and count the number of salmon lice at any stage would offer the fish farming industry a possibility to take preventive actions against the damage caused by the lice.
Ecotone has invented a method that is able to detect salmon lice both in dead fish and on salmon swimming freely. They also found that lice of different stage have different spectral signature that can be identified with UHI. Further development is still required to be able to accurately tell the exact amount of lice in salmon swimming freely, but already now UHI can be used to detect trends in sea lice infestation. This method offers a notable opportunity to learn more about the trends of salmon lice population and infestation and plan preventive methods to protect the salmon population.
Example below shows four lice detected correctly.
Endless number of applications
“Working with Ecotone has been a great chance for SPECIM to deepen our knowledge on both the requirements and possibilities in underwater hyperspectral imaging. Underwater deployment is again a fascinating example of the practically unlimited scientific and commercial potential of hyperspectral imaging. We are excited to have this opportunity and look forward to continued collaboration with Ecotone”, says Timo Hyvärinen, Founder at SPECIM.
Ecotone has taken great steps towards an automated mapping method that will improve the way we collect information about the seabed. They are successfully using the spectral information in the seabed data to distinguish and characterize cold-water coral reefs and sponge habitats, as well as a range of its associated organisms such as lobsters, anemones and sea cucumbers. Ecotone has done this both as part of industry-standard visual surveys surrounding drill sites, but also in more experimental scenarios such as vertical walls covered with algae, corals and sponges.
Ecotone has also made great strides towards a method for mapping drill cuttings deposition following a drilling event. By using the spectral information from the top layer sediment, they can determine the extent of the deposition and yield information about the impact the drilling have had.
“We came to SPECIM with a somewhat unique challenge, and we feel that SPECIM has taken every step to provide the necessary work on the product they deliver to us, no matter how custom and challenging. In addition to delivering the imaging unit, SPECIM has been a valuable contact during the development phase of the technology. We feel that the team at SPECIM were excited about our ideas and gladly assisted us in our development.
We are exploring the ways to use hyperspectral data and what underwater objects are becoming visible to us that previously would be very hard to detect using normal cameras. We are adapting and inventing new methods for image processing based on our experiences. We are still learning every day!” says Jorgen Tegdan.