Aerial surveys of estuarine and beach plastic litter

Research on the use small aircraft, drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), balloons and other aerial technologies for detection, identification and monitoring of estuarine and beach plastic litter (SDG 14.1) and subsequent validation of results using satellite imagery and ground measurements such as visual inspection and citizen science. The research will include the designing / prototyping of future satellite payload/sensors with improved functionality for measuring estuarine and beaches plastic litter.

AIR Centre PhD grants are aimed at applicants enrolled or that comply with the requirements to enrol for PhD related studies and who wish to carry out research towards this degree. Candidates with MSc. degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering (or equivalent/similar area) may apply. Scientific Publications in the topic are a plus.

Summary of work plan
The main objective is to contribute to the hyperspectral image classification remote sensing topic, and its use on civilian applications through aerial robotic platforms applications. Particularly focusing in studying and developing novel methods that use hyperspectral imaging information to detect, classify and identify types of materials/marine litter in oceanic and coastal environments.

The research plan into the following objectives:

  • Study of novel optimization techniques, image processing and machine learning techniques, deep learning, as well as optical sensing information. To allow the exploration and development of different types of methods and approaches for extracting a variety of spectral, texture, and geometrical attributes of the images.
  • Develop a digital hyperspectral imaging database using unmanned aerial vehicles, in different marine environment locations.
  • Develop supervised and unsupervised methods to perform hyperspectral image classification of marine litter, and geo-reference with high precision the obtained data.

Name(s) of supervisor(s)
Hugo Silva, INESC TEC
Eduardo Silva, INESC TEC

Name(s) of hosting institution(s)
The research will be conducted at INESC TEC.

Identification of PhD program
PhD Programme in Electrical and Computer Engineering (PDEEC)

Please check PhD program’s website for application deadlines here.

Jury Composition
Matteo Matteucci (Chairman), Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Sen Wang, Heriot Watt University, UK
Amir Ahmad, University of Tübingen, Germany

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