Nature of project: experimental, software
Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.
The purpose of this project is to demonstrate using a remote operated telescope to do temporal (time lapse) monitoring of the general state of the sea around Aberystwyth. Think of it as constructing a map and projecting views of the surface onto the map projection of the mean sea surface.
Using a combination of approximate telescope pointing angles, and landmarks of known position, it should be possible to least squares adjust the telescope pointing angle to a higher degree of accuracy for the map projection work.
In particular you may be able to study sediments, surface roughness, objects just below the water, and sunglint effects.
N.B. In case of telescope issues/weather problems or a COVID-19 lockdown -we have plenty of archive video that you may use.
A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
1) Take images from video captured, using the finder scope, and the telescope, and map project these onto a model of the mean sea level for that time of the day. You will need to use landmarks of known locations, just inside the image frames (telescope or finder scope camera), to help determine the camera orientation. Some basic photogrammetric techniques will be used for this, akin to what are used when planetary scientists map project spacecraft images onto a map projection.
2) Investigate (using time lapse imaging) slightly more reflective river sediment deposits flowing into the darker sea.
3) Investigate sunglint effects to see if you can determine the slope angles and azimuths of the waves that are causing these, and hence the overall scatter in slope angles.
4) Investigate stacking images and using minimum and maximum pixel brightness values to: (a) see slightly beneath the sea surface, (b) to identify regions of where surf occurs more frequently e.g. underwater sand bars.
When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.
This project is only available as a Y3 project.
Please speak to Tony Cook (atc) if you consider doing this project.
Initial literature for students:
This is a challenging project and requires excellent programming skills (especially if taken as a full rather than joint project), some knowledge of computer vision and hardware control of a robotic device. The concept behind this project is relatively new.
|milestone||to be completed by|
|Telescope training and/or copying of archive video||Christmas|
|Learn to navigate with images and map project images onto sea surface||end of February|
|Experiment with stacking images to pull out maximum, minimum brightnesses and other temporal image parameters||mid-March|
|Investigate monitoring of river sediment in sea and sun glint effects||Easter|
Students taking this project will have to submit a full risk assessment form