Tracking pollutants in rivers through drone images

How pollutants move until they reach the ocean

Ocean water is estimated at 1.332 billion cubic kilometers (source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution WHOI) Almost all of the moving water from the planet’s origins reaches the ocean and along the way, unfortunately  man has turned this life-giving movement into his organic and inorganic waste collection service.

In order to understand how the flow of water works we have performed an exercise in the Rotterdam river near the port of Rotterdam to see how the flow of water moves the different types of pollutants and determine where they lodge as a function of the speed of the water’s movement.

While Fregata Space takes images from satellites to create its water quality analyses, it also does so, as in this case, with drones that have high-tech cameras. With this input, images series are taken to show the water flow, after which a group of our scientists analyze the information and classify the water flow in slow, medium and high. Like with the satellites, our AI brain makes it possible to identify pollutants, such as floating garbage that may be stranded on the riverbanks.

This information allows both the authorities that manage the port and the companies that use the river to implement sustainable measures that also ensure more efficient decision making, so that future generations will have access to part of the water resource that we have had the opportunity to enjoy. At the end of the day, this benefits all of us. A clear example of how technology contributes to the sustainability and quality of life of ecosystems and the water we use every day.

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