Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2023

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Eric Coyle

First Committee Member

Dr. Patrick Currier

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jianhua Liu

College Dean

Dr. Jim Gregory


Situational awareness in the maritime environment can be extremely challenging. The maritime environment is highly dynamic and largely undefined, requiring the perception of many potential hazards in the shared maritime environment. One particular challenge is the effect of direct-sunlight exposure and specular reflection causing degradation of camera reliability. It is for this reason then, in this work, the use of High-Dynamic Range imagery for deep learning of semantic image labels is studied in a littoral environment. This study theorizes that the use HDR imagery may be extremely beneficial for the purpose of situational awareness in maritime environments due to the inherent advantages of the technology. This study creates labels for a multi-class semantic segmentation process, and performs well on water and horizon identification in the littoral zone. Additionally, this work contributes proof that water can be reasonably identified using HDR imagery with semantic networks, which is useful for determining the navigable regions for a vessel. This result is a basis on which to build further semantic segmentation work upon in this environment, and could be further improved upon in future works with the introduction of additional data for multi-class segmentation problems.