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Marine Debris Program Supports Enhanced Marine Debris Detection Using UAS

JAN. 10, 2022 — Researchers from the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Oregon State University recently completed field operations in support of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations Office of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program-funded project "Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Machine Learning, and Polarimetric Imaging to Develop a System for Enhanced Marine Debris Detection and Removal."

The goal of the project is to design and demonstrate a relatively low-cost, easily deployed, and accurate marine debris detection system that could be used by existing marine debris response programs. After several months of controlled testing and training at a site in coastal Oregon to evaluate parameter settings for the UAS fitted with an RGB camera, the team conducted a number of UAS flights on San Jose Island near Corpus Christi, Texas. 


The team also used the NOAA Marine Debris Program's shoreline monitoring protocol for marine debris to perform ground truthing surveys. The project, which leverages previous procedures, workflows, and UAS guidelines completed by the project team, is a collaboration with the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Genwest, and ORBTL.AI


For more information, please contact Amy.Uhrin@noaa.gov

Last updated Friday, April 15, 2022 2:35pm PDT