Mapping Water Quality with Drones: Test Case in Texel

Environmental Monitoring
Terra Et Aqua #157, Winter 2019

At the end of October 2018, a pilot test case at the Prins Hendrik Zanddijk project in Texel, The Netherlands, was organised to demonstrate drone technology for water quality monitoring. Jan De Nul was working on creating a new dune area seaward of the existing dike. This dune takes over the coastal protection function of the existing dyke and combines it with nature development, public services and recreational appeal. For the demo an octocopter drone platform, Altura Zenith ATX8, was used with a multispectral camera, MicaSense RedEdge M, underneath. During drone flights, a base station shows real-time information on the location of the drone, a projected truecolour image captured by the camera and the position of neighbouring boats through Automatic Identification System (AIS). Thanks to this information it is easy to adapt flight missions according to the situation. The drone data were processed with dedicated software into turbidity maps. This independently from in-situ observations. Water samples, collected simultaneously with drone flights were used for the validation of the derived products. First presented as a paper at the CEDA Dredging Days Conference 2019 in Rotterdam, this article has been published in a slightly adapted version with permission of the copyright holder, CEDA. At the conclusion of the conference, IADC’s Secretary General René Kolman bestowed the Young Author Award to Liesbeth De Keukelaere to recognise her outstanding paper and presentation of the paper ‘Mapping water quality with drones – test case in Texel’. This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776480.

Read the paper

Authors: Els Knaeps | Emile Lemey | Gert Strackx | Liesbeth De Keukelaere | Robrecht Moelans

Associations: VITO, Jan de Nul Group

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