The Shape of Waves (11 May)

"The implemented point cloud filtering approach is able to discard image portions clearly not belonging to the reconstructed sea surface area. Left: Example of a clutter object (a seagull in this case) in the field-of-view of the two cameras. Note how the reconstructed points corresponding to the seagull have been properly removed. The point removal is evident as it causes a seagull-shaped hole in the surface due to the shadowing produced by the seagull itself with the other camera field-of-view. Right: Magnification of the area highlighted in the red rectangle on the left. (Best viewed in colors)." From "WASS: An open-source pipeline for 3D stereo reconstruction of ocean waves" by Prof. Alvise Benetazzo et al.

WASS is a stereoscopic system installed on the Aqua Grande offshore observation platform. It was developed by Prof. Alvise Benetazzo to reconstruct the topography of waves as 3D models. The shape of waves is important in the study of Aqua Alta and Aqua Grande flooding phenomena that effect Venice annually. More broadly, the oceans can be considered a massive sensing body for cosmic phenomenon in space-time like gravity waves. The WASS system and its outcomes agree with current mathematical models of space-time. Two cameras are offset to view waves from two different angles. When bolstered with machine vision algorithms, the WASS system actively makes real waves into virtual models.

Wind that traverses over the surface of the water effects its structure at substantial depths over time. The WASS pipeline must consider what to omit as a particular occurrence, like sea foam, changes in light from shifting weather, and in this case a seagull. The hole that its shadow leaves when omitted is reconstructed through interpolation.