This week we are hearing updates from RaNTrans partners at ARGANS and Bournemouth University about their work using satellite and drone images.

Philippe at ARGANS was busy as usual working on new ways of using remote sensing to present evidence from our study areas. Well, for anyone new to remote sensing; this is basically using images from satellites, or drones and other aerial photographs to present a study area. In our case we are using satellite maps and drone images to proof the links between habitat features in coastal marine areas. These habitat features could be seagrass meadows, saltmarsh vegetation, seaweed macroalgae or other intertidal mudflat and estuarine features. This work is ensuring that images of features from the satellite are true, and this is where the detail drone photos are useful to provide the confirmation.

Satellite Picture of Poole Harbour containing Holes Bay England (credit ARGANS)

Satellite and in-picture Drone image of Holes Bay – Poole Harbour England (credit ARGANS and BU)

Without being too technical, our project study areas cover southern England and the North coast of the French Brittany as well as  Normandy, and we are having to balance the size of the study areas with good levels of image resolution and the volume of data being processed and stored. So, we are constantly testing the best balance of good, detailed resolution and increasing the size of study areas images.

This map of Holes Bay (Poole Harbour, England) is an area we are testing with a very high resolution PlanetScope images (3m). Also, this image shows Sentinel-2 satellite data at high resolution (10m) and an image taken by drone with centimetre resolution with a lot of habitat feature details.

June Algal mat coverage, Holes Bay (EA/NE)

We are having some exciting time with the use of drones to provide more details images of these study areas. For example, with multispectral sensor on the drone, we can achieve a very high resolution around 5 – 8cm. But for a lower resolution this enables the drone to fly higher and capture an area faster, so stay tune for more updates.

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