EPMC has been awarded a 2-year project, UAV-Based Remote Sensing of Turbidity in Coastal Waters, by the Singapore Maritime Institute. The Principal Investigator is Professor Law Wing Keung, Adrian from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NTU. The industry collaborator is DHI Singapore who has strong expertise in water quality modelling and field measurements.
The monitoring of turbidity is an essential component of Environmental Monitoring and Management Programmes (EMMP) in Singapore and around the world. EMMP safeguards the water quality of coastal waters, particularly around sensitive locations such as coastal intakes, coral reefs, marine habitats, etc. Traditional turbidity monitoring depends heavily on field samplings and are typically laborious. The project aims to establish a new remote sensing approach using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) carrying hyperspectral and multispectral cameras. The new approach offers potential cost savings, and can be executed expeditiously on-demand over a wider targeted coastal area.
AI-enabled algorithms shall be developed to process the surface water images and correlate their properties with turbidity concentrations in the water, amid the complex ambient light setting with the presence of currents and waves. A software visualisation platform will also be derived to generate turbidity contour maps based on Convolutional Neural Networks. Extensive field verification of the new approach will then be carried out in the coastal waters of Singapore under different operational scenarios of land reclamation.