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General Aviation Citizen Science Study to Help Tackle Remote Sensing of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)We present a new, low-cost approach, based on volunteer pilots conducting high-resolution aerial imaging, to help document the onset, growth, and outbreak of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and related water quality issues in central and western Lake Erie. In this model study, volunteer private pilots acting as citizen scientists frequently flew over 200 mi of Lake Erie coastline, its islands, and freshwater estuaries, taking high-quality aerial photographs and videos. The photographs were taken in the nadir (vertical) position in red, green, and blue (RGB) and near-infrared (NIR) every 5 s with rugged, commercially available built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) cameras. The high-definition (HD) videos in 1080p format were taken continuously in an oblique forward direction. The unobstructed, georeferenced, high-resolution images, and HD videos can provide an early warning of ensuing HAB events to coastal communities and freshwater resource managers. The scientists and academic researchers can use the data to compliment a collection of in situ water measurements, matching satellite imagery, and help develop advanced airborne instrumentation, and validation of their algorithms. This data may help develop empirical models, which may lead to the next steps in predicting a HAB event as some watershed observed events changed the water quality such as particle size, sedimentation, color, mineralogy, and turbidity delivered to the Lake site. This paper shows the efficacy and scalability of citizen science (CS) aerial imaging as a complimentary tool for rapid emergency response in HABs monitoring, land and vegetation management, and scientific studies. This study can serve as a model for monitoring/management of freshwater and marine aquatic systems.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Ansari, Rafat R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Schubert, Terry
Date Acquired
March 22, 2018
Publication Date
March 1, 2018
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 811073.
Distribution Limits
Portions of document may include copyright protected material.
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