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Measuring Marine Plastic Debris from Space: Initial Assessment of Observation Requirements

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Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
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European Space Agency—ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
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ISMAR-CNR, Forte Santa Teresa, Pozzuolo di Lerici, 19032 La Spezia, Italy
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ARGANS Ltd., Chamberlain House, 1 Research Way, Plymouth PL6 8BU, UK
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Section 1.4 Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam—GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
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Airbus Defence and Space—Space Systems 31, rue des Cosmonautes Z.I. du Palays, 31402 Toulouse, France
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Dpto. Biología, Campus de Excelencia Internacional del Mar (CEIMAR), Instituto Universitario de Investigaciones Marinas (INMAR), Universidad de Cádiz, E-11510 Puerto Real, Spain
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European Association for Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), Rue de la Loi 26, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
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IFREMER, LER/PAC, ZI Furiani, 20600 Bastia, France
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The Ocean Cleanup, Batavierenstraat 15, 4-7th floor, 3014 JH Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Marine Sensor Systems Group, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) - Terramare, University of Oldenburg, Schleusenstr. 1, 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany
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Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands, Castle Street, Thurso, Caithness KW14 7JD, UK
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Dept. of Environment and Health, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
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Department of Electrical, Computer and Software Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
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Genwest Inc. 170 W. Dayton St. Suite 106A Edmonds, WA 98020, USA
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Marine Debris Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
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IFAC-CNR, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
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Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
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ISARDSAT, C. Marie Curie, 8-14, A213 08042 Barcelona, Spain
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Remote Sensing Unit, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium
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International Marine Litter Research Unit, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK
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Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean, 81100 Mytilene, Greece
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Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research, Utrecht University, PO Box 80125, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
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DELTARES, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(20), 2443; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202443
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 21 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EO Solutions to Support Countries Implementing the SDGs)
Sustained observations are required to determine the marine plastic debris mass balance and to support effective policy for planning remedial action. However, observations currently remain scarce at the global scale. A satellite remote sensing system could make a substantial contribution to tackling this problem. Here, we make initial steps towards the potential design of such a remote sensing system by: (1) identifying the properties of marine plastic debris amenable to remote sensing methods and (2) highlighting the oceanic processes relevant to scientific questions about marine plastic debris. Remote sensing approaches are reviewed and matched to the optical properties of marine plastic debris and the relevant spatio-temporal scales of observation to identify challenges and opportunities in the field. Finally, steps needed to develop marine plastic debris detection by remote sensing platforms are proposed in terms of fundamental science as well as linkages to ongoing planning for satellite systems with similar observation requirements. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; marine plastic debris; mission requirements; hyperspectral sensors; multispectral imagers; high spatial resolution; sensors synergy; submesoscale processes remote sensing; marine plastic debris; mission requirements; hyperspectral sensors; multispectral imagers; high spatial resolution; sensors synergy; submesoscale processes
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Martínez-Vicente, V.; Clark, J.R.; Corradi, P.; Aliani, S.; Arias, M.; Bochow, M.; Bonnery, G.; Cole, M.; Cózar, A.; Donnelly, R.; Echevarría, F.; Galgani, F.; Garaba, S.P.; Goddijn-Murphy, L.; Lebreton, L.; Leslie, H.A.; Lindeque, P.K.; Maximenko, N.; Martin-Lauzer, F.-R.; Moller, D.; Murphy, P.; Palombi, L.; Raimondi, V.; Reisser, J.; Romero, L.; Simis, S.G.; Sterckx, S.; Thompson, R.C.; Topouzelis, K.N.; van Sebille, E.; Veiga, J.M.; Vethaak, A.D. Measuring Marine Plastic Debris from Space: Initial Assessment of Observation Requirements. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2443.

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