SeaBee will establish a national center for drone-based services for use in coastal and aquatic research, mapping and monitoring of habitats, animal communities, and anthropogenic impacts. SeaBee will facilitate delivery of comprehensive solutions for cost-effective data collection and analysis of the coastal zone using small portable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), also referred to as aerial drones. The combination of sophisticated environmental sensors and aerial drones will enable collection of large scale, high-resolution data, and data products that will benefit research and management efforts for healthier and cleaner coastal and aquatic environments. Unlike traditional observation techniques, portable drones can cover large areas efficiently, and provide a spatial sensitivity of typically 1000 times better than state-of-the-art satellite products. By delivering a beyond state-of-the-art tool to address present day and future environmental challenges in a time- and cost-effective manner, SeaBee will greatly facilitate the acquisition of big data necessary for ecosystem management, and place Norway at the forefront of international drone research and monitoring of aquatic systems. SeaBee will put together four state-of-the-art components in a novel interdisciplinary configuration: 1) Aerial drones with sophisticated sensors will collect high resolution environment-relevant data, 2) advanced automated data pipelines and routines using machine learning to process the data for thematic mapping and targeted object detection, 3) novel cloud solutions to secure long-term storage and accessibility of the data nation-wide, and 4) easy-accessed GIS (Geographical Information System) web portals to deliver customized data products via cloud solutions directly to end-users, including researchers, management authorities, technology industry, university students and, in the long term, society.
Project leader: Kasper Hancke
Institution: NORSK INSTITUTT FOR VANNFORSKNING