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Exploratory Investigations in using Remotely Operated Vehicles to Ground Truth Underwater Resources Identified from Remotely Sensed Aerial Imagery

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

International Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.2.1 - 25.2.15

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Paper Authors

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Xavier Shastri Domnique Henry University of Maryland, Eastern Shore


Abhijit Nagchaudhuri University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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Abhijit Nagchaudhuri is currently a professor in the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. Nagchaudhuri is a member of ASME and ASEE professional societies and is actively involved in teaching and research in the fields of robotics and control, remote sensing and precision agriculture, and biofuels and renewable energy. He received his M.S. degree from Tulane University in 1989 and Ph.D. degree from Duke University in 1992.

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Madhumi Mitra Ph.D. University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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Exploratory Investigations in using Remotely Operated Vehicles to Ground Truth Underwater Resources Identified from Remotely Sensed Aerial ImageryAbstractAntigua and Barbuda, like many other developing nations, has historically faced exploitation ofits natural resources in the shadows of national progress. Activities linked to the growth oftourism, urbanization, and agriculture have resulted in reduced biodiversity, land degradation,hydrological changes, and reduced water quality. The need to protect valuable resources withoutstalling national development has led to the implementation of the sustainable island resourcemanagement mechanism (SIRMM) project in the twin-island nation. The SIRMM, a projectbased largely upon remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS), seeks todocument the islands’ resources and will allow for integrated ecosystems management in allsubsequent major development. To date, most of the terrestrial resources observed from the RSaerial imagery have been confirmed via extensive surveys. However, those resources occurringbelow the waves have proven much more difficult to quantify. Time-consuming, costly, anddangerous ground-truth efforts, undertaken by local unpaid fishermen, have proven largelyineffective and occur much too infrequently to provide the necessary data coverage. This paperdescribes the use of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) platforms, the VideoRay made availablethrough partnership with University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES. The paper describes theinitial explorative experience shared between UMES and the Environment Division of thegovernment of Antigua and Barbuda in attempting to efficiently and safely build their datarepository. The results of 5 confirmatory missions are included, that proved that the use of suchplatforms can easily increase the rate at which RS aerial data can be confirmed. Also highlightedare benefits of such collaborative research activities between institutions of higher learning in theUnited States with access to technologies that may be beyond the reach (due to limitedtechnological literacy or financial constraints) of agencies in developing countries.

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