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Research

Patent Awarded to USGS Scientists for Underwater Microscope System

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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists Henry Chezar and David Rubin have been awarded U.S. patent 6,680,795 for their Underwater Microscope System, also known as the "Eyeball." Dated January 20, 2004, the patent abstract reads "An apparatus and a method are provided for capturing and analyzing video images of sediment from the bottom of a body of water such as a river or sea. The apparatus includes a video imager with a close-up focus of lens adapted to collect images of sediment at the bottom of the body of water. A waterproof housing surrounds the video imager. The video images are analyzed using any appropriate algorithm to determine grain size."

As noted by Dave Rubin in a recent article in the Journal of Sedimentary Research (v. 74, no. 1), using the Eyeball for grain-size analysis has several advantages over using traditional laboratory techniques: it is 100 times faster, it is ideal for sampling surficial sediment (the part that interacts with a flow), it can determine vertical profiles in grain size on a scale finer than can be sampled physically, and it can be used in the field to provide near-real-time grain-size analysis.

The system is described in an article by Hank Chezar in the June 2001 issue of Sound Waves and in the full text of the patent (go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office Web Site, click on "Patent Number Search," and enter the number "6,680,795").


Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Patent Pending for a New Underwater Microscope System
June 2001

Related Web Sites
United States Patent and Trademark Office
United States Department of Commerce
A Simple Autocorrelation Algorithm for Determining Grain Size from Digital Images of Sediment
Journal of Sedimentary Research

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in this issue: Fieldwork cover story:
Search for Instruments Yields New Data

Submarine Ground Water in Rhode Island

Research Underwater Microscope System Patented

Outreach Sally Ride Science Festival

Meeting Highlights Florida's Natural Beauty

Meetings Coastal Environmental Indicators Workshop

Internet Tools Featured at Tampa Bay Workshop

Awards Normark and Oremland Selected AGU Fellows

Geist Awarded AGU's Citation for Excellence

Staff & Center News USGS Employees Donate Toys

Publications March Publications List


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