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Remote Sensing of Turbidity with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Improved Management of Water Quality in San Francisco Bay

Funding Year: 
2015
Region(s): 
North America
Research Areas: 
Oceans
Principal Investigators: 

Turbidity a measurement of water clarity is affected by the amount of particulate matter in water and is a key test of water quality. Measuring turbidity in estuaries like the San Francisco Bay is important because turbidity impacts light availability for the growth of algae, an important indicator of ecosystem health. This project proposes to develop an efficient and cost-effective methodology to measure turbidity using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that will autonomously measure the spatial distribution of surface turbidity in San Francisco Bay. Researchers will collaborate with the San Francisco Estuary institute as part of the Regional Monitoring Program and Bay Nutrient Management Strategy that provide regulators and policy-makers data for effective Bay water quality management.