Sea State from Single Optical Images: A Methodology to Derive Wind-Generated Ocean Waves from Cameras, Drones and Satellites

Rafael Almar, Erwin W. J. Bergsma, Patricio A. Catalan, Rodrigo Cienfuegos, Leandro Suarez, Felipe Lucero, Alexandre Nicolae Lerma, Franck Desmazes, Eleonora Perugini, Margaret L. Palmsten, Chris Chickadel
2021 Remote Sensing  
Sea state is a key variable in ocean and coastal dynamics. The sea state is either sparsely measured by wave buoys and satellites or modelled over large scales. Only a few attempts have been devoted to sea state measurements covering a large domain; in particular its estimation from optical images. With optical technologies becoming omnipresent, optical images offer incomparable spatial resolution from diverse sensors such as shore-based cameras, airborne drones (unmanned aerial vehicles/UAVs),
more » ... ial vehicles/UAVs), or satellites. Here, we present a standalone methodology to derive the water surface elevation anomaly induced by wind-generated ocean waves from optical imagery. The methodology was tested on drone and satellite images and compared against ground truth. The results show a clear dependence on the relative azimuth view angle in relation to the wave crest. A simple correction is proposed to overcome this bias. Overall, the presented methodology offers a practical way of estimating ocean waves for a wide range of applications.
doi:10.3390/rs13040679 fatcat:njiw7rrdjrflpjcnzmqkokqlti