Event Title

Using Kites in Aerial Near-Infrared Imaging of Nuisance Cladophora along Coastal Lake Michigan

Mentor 1

Thomas Consi

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

Cladophora alga is commonly found along coastal Lake Michigan, and washes onto the shores of Milwaukee, Wisconsin every fall. As the alga perishes it becomes problematic, producing a foul odor and several problems for the human population, such as a decrease in lakefront aesthetic conditions, clogged water intakes, and even declining property values. To assist in combating and predicting this phenomena, this project aimed to create a modified Olympus TG-3 camera able to utilize near-infrared (NIR) light in order image Cladophora along Milwaukee’s various coasts and popular beach destinations. Images taken by this piece of technology ultimately reveals the spectral signatures of light being reflected by plants, and will assist researchers in identifying Cladophora plumes as well as determine relative biomass and health. Lakefront images were obtained using kite aerial photography, wherein which a gimbal system was mounted onto a large kite capable of obtaining significant lift in a variety of weather conditions. This system was comprised of the modified NIR Olympus camera, a 7.4 volt battery, live telemetry camera feed, a polarizer mechanism and a microcontroller and GPS. Such a configuration allows for real-time image data including geographical location, time of day, and the system altitude to be collected. Rosco #74 Night Blue and Hoya 52mm 80A camera lens filters utilized in conjunction with the modified camera allowed for only blue and red light waves to be collected by a sensitive complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) imager, which enhances the image of chlorophyll contained in live plants such as Cladophora. Using standard visible light imaging we obtained aerial images of coastal Lake Michigan, and unfortunately we were not able to get clear views of the submerged Cladophora due to surface light reflection. We were able to get some enhanced views of aquatic vegetation by flying our camera over a pond at the Bong Recreational Area in Kenosha, WI. In this case we used a hexacopter instead of a kite. Presented in this poster is the design of the camera and test images made in the lab. Also presented is the design of our kite-based aerial imaging system and images obtained from the field. Future work will involve reducing the reflected illumination by use of a polarizing filter as well as taking images when the sun is lower in the sky thus reducing direct reflection. Once this problem is solved our imaging system will be a useful tool for studies of the life cycle dynamics of Cladophora and other aquatic vegetation.

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Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

Using Kites in Aerial Near-Infrared Imaging of Nuisance Cladophora along Coastal Lake Michigan

Union Wisconsin Room

Cladophora alga is commonly found along coastal Lake Michigan, and washes onto the shores of Milwaukee, Wisconsin every fall. As the alga perishes it becomes problematic, producing a foul odor and several problems for the human population, such as a decrease in lakefront aesthetic conditions, clogged water intakes, and even declining property values. To assist in combating and predicting this phenomena, this project aimed to create a modified Olympus TG-3 camera able to utilize near-infrared (NIR) light in order image Cladophora along Milwaukee’s various coasts and popular beach destinations. Images taken by this piece of technology ultimately reveals the spectral signatures of light being reflected by plants, and will assist researchers in identifying Cladophora plumes as well as determine relative biomass and health. Lakefront images were obtained using kite aerial photography, wherein which a gimbal system was mounted onto a large kite capable of obtaining significant lift in a variety of weather conditions. This system was comprised of the modified NIR Olympus camera, a 7.4 volt battery, live telemetry camera feed, a polarizer mechanism and a microcontroller and GPS. Such a configuration allows for real-time image data including geographical location, time of day, and the system altitude to be collected. Rosco #74 Night Blue and Hoya 52mm 80A camera lens filters utilized in conjunction with the modified camera allowed for only blue and red light waves to be collected by a sensitive complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) imager, which enhances the image of chlorophyll contained in live plants such as Cladophora. Using standard visible light imaging we obtained aerial images of coastal Lake Michigan, and unfortunately we were not able to get clear views of the submerged Cladophora due to surface light reflection. We were able to get some enhanced views of aquatic vegetation by flying our camera over a pond at the Bong Recreational Area in Kenosha, WI. In this case we used a hexacopter instead of a kite. Presented in this poster is the design of the camera and test images made in the lab. Also presented is the design of our kite-based aerial imaging system and images obtained from the field. Future work will involve reducing the reflected illumination by use of a polarizing filter as well as taking images when the sun is lower in the sky thus reducing direct reflection. Once this problem is solved our imaging system will be a useful tool for studies of the life cycle dynamics of Cladophora and other aquatic vegetation.