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Article

Investigating Detection of Floating Plastic Litter from Space Using Sentinel-2 Imagery

1
ERATOSTHENES Centre of Excellence, Saripolou 2-6, Achilleos 2 Building, Lemesos 3036, Cyprus
2
Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cyprus University of Technology, 30 Arch. Kyprianos Str., Lemesos 3036, Cyprus
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(16), 2648; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162648
Received: 10 July 2020 / Revised: 12 August 2020 / Accepted: 14 August 2020 / Published: 17 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Applications of Geoinformation)
Plastic litter floating in the ocean is a significant problem on a global scale. This study examines whether Sentinel-2 satellite images can be used to identify plastic litter on the sea surface for monitoring, collection and disposal. A pilot study was conducted to determine if plastic targets on the sea surface can be detected using remote sensing techniques with Sentinel-2 data. A target made up of plastic water bottles with a surface measuring 3 m × 10 m was created, which was subsequently placed in the sea near the Old Port in Limassol, Cyprus. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used to acquire multispectral aerial images of the area of interest during the same time as the Sentinel-2 satellite overpass. Spectral signatures of the water and the plastic litter after it was placed in the water were taken with an SVC HR1024 spectroradiometer. The study found that the plastic litter target was easiest to detect in the NIR wavelengths. Seven established indices for satellite image processing were examined to determine whether they can identify plastic litter in the water. Further, the authors examined two new indices, the Plastics Index (PI) and the Reversed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (RNDVI) to be used in the processing of the satellite image. The newly developed Plastic Index (PI) was able to identify plastic objects floating on the water surface and was the most effective index in identifying the plastic litter target in the sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sentinel-2; satellite images; plastic litter; spectral indices; spectroscopy; remote sensing; UAVs Sentinel-2; satellite images; plastic litter; spectral indices; spectroscopy; remote sensing; UAVs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Themistocleous, K.; Papoutsa, C.; Michaelides, S.; Hadjimitsis, D. Investigating Detection of Floating Plastic Litter from Space Using Sentinel-2 Imagery. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2648. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162648

AMA Style

Themistocleous K, Papoutsa C, Michaelides S, Hadjimitsis D. Investigating Detection of Floating Plastic Litter from Space Using Sentinel-2 Imagery. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(16):2648. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162648

Chicago/Turabian Style

Themistocleous, Kyriacos, Christiana Papoutsa, Silas Michaelides, and Diofantos Hadjimitsis. 2020. "Investigating Detection of Floating Plastic Litter from Space Using Sentinel-2 Imagery" Remote Sensing 12, no. 16: 2648. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12162648

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