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Title: Drones for litter monitoring on coasts and rivers: suitable flight altitude and image resolution
Authors: Andriolo, Umberto 
Topouzelis, Konstantinos 
van Emmerik, Tim H M 
Papakonstantinou, Apostolos 
Monteiro, João Gama 
Isobe, Atsuhiko 
Hidaka, Mitsuko 
Kako, Shin'ichiro 
Kataoka, Tomoya 
Gonçalves, Gil 
Major Field of Science: Engineering and Technology
Field Category: Civil Engineering
Keywords: Environmental pollution;Ground Sampling Distance;Plastic;Remote sensing;UAV
Issue Date: Oct-2023
Source: Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2023, vol. 195
Volume: 195
Journal: Marine pollution bulletin 
Abstract: Multirotor drones can be efficiently used to monitor macro-litter in coastal and riverine environments. Litter on beaches, dunes and riverbanks, along with floating litter on coastal and river waters, can be spotted and mapped from aerial drone images. Items detection and classification are prone to image resolution, which is expressed in terms of Ground Sampling Distance (GSD). The GSD is determined by drone flight altitude and camera properties. This paper investigates what is a suitable GSD value for litter survey. Drone flight altitude and camera setup should be chosen to obtain a GSD between 0.5 cm/px and 1.25 cm/px. Within this range, the lowest GSD allows litter categorization and classification, whereas the highest value should be adopted for a coarser litter census. In the vision of drawing up a global protocol for drone-based litter surveys, this work sets the ground for homogenizing data collection and litter assessments.
ISSN: 0025326X
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2023.115521
Rights: © The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Type: Article
Affiliation : INESC Coimbra 
University of Aegean 
Wageningen University 
Cyprus University of Technology 
MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre/ARNET - Aquatic Research Network 
Universidade da Madeira 
Kyushu University 
Japan Agency for Marine - Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) 
Kagoshima University 
Ehime University 
University of Coimbra 
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