Underwater turbulence effect on optical imaging

Ata Y., Gökçe M. C., Baykal Y.

PHYSICA SCRIPTA, vol.97, no.5, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 97 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/1402-4896/ac6305
  • Journal Name: PHYSICA SCRIPTA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Chemical Abstracts Core, Compendex, INSPEC, zbMATH
  • Keywords: optical imaging, oceanic turbulence, modulation transfer function, long exposure, short exposure, BEAM PROPAGATION, POINT SPREAD, LONG
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


Modulation transfer function (MTF) of oceanic turbulence plays an essential role in the design and quality of underwater image sensing systems capturing optical signals. MTF gives clues about the characteristics of turbulence which can help image reconstruction where the image resolution can be increased in this way. In the paper, under the conditions of weak turbulence and Gaussian beam propagation, we derive the modulation transfer function for short-exposure and long-exposure images based on the recently developed turbulence spectrum model: Oceanic turbulence optical power spectrum (OTOPS). With the aid of the OTOPS model, the effect of measurable turbulence parameters, namely average temperature, average salinity concentration, and temperature-salinity gradient ratios, as well as imaging system parameters, namely receiver aperture radius and wavelength of the laser source on the MTF are reported. Obtained results indicate that MTF rapidly decreases with increasing relative spatial frequency and turbulence strength. Turbulence becomes stronger with the increase in the average temperature, average salinity concentration, energy dissipation rate, temperature-salinity gradient ratio and with the decrease in the temperature dissipation rate, wavelength.