Spectrometer For Marine Litter – Detection of Marine Litter through Advanced Spectroscopic Techniques and Signal Processing

  • INESCTEC, Portugal
  • PI
    Eduardo Silva

The project is focused on efficient detection of marine litter through advanced spectroscopic techniques and signal processing. We propose to extend the previous study of ESA on analysis techniques able to detect or improve the detection and tracking the dispersal of marine plastic pollutants in the ocean, in particular macro and microplastics, Moreover it is expected to establish the minimum detectable levels of plastic concentration in sea, in real life sensing conditions. The proposed tests will be the following:

  • To validate/refine the input theoretical results on marine plastic pollution detection by means of (airborne) campaign measurements for better defining the sensor requirements and refining the developed detection algorithms. The study may also include additional lab experiments, e.g. sensor over a pool with different sets of plastics parts + marine vegetation + other litter, in a controlled and progressively more complex and more realistic mix
  • to develop techniques/algorithms able to quantify, with a reasonable accuracy, the amount (concentration) of plastic, with the support of calibration campaign (controlled set-ups and verified in-situ naturally occurring accumulations)
  • provide a design of a breadboard sensor

Campaigns will be set in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and also airborne campaigns to approach the environmental operational conditions of future higher altitude sensing devices.

In parallel, spectral signatures of plastic materials through airborne hyperspectral detection will be harvested and further explored.

The project will be performed in 9 months and will build up on current state of development and results of ongoing ESA projects on the same topic. Despite the short timeframe of the proposed work, INESC TEC, IMAR, Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia and AIR Center aims to continue this research line after the complete activity, since it is one of the strategic topics of the institution.

    INESC TEC | IMAR | FRCT | AIR Center