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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Drone-Based Optical Measurements of Heterogeneous Surface Velocity Fields around Fish Passages at Hydropower Dams

1
Engineering & IT, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, 9524 Villach, Austria
2
Verbund Hydro Power GmbH, 9500 Villach, Austria
3
flussbau iC, 9500 Villach, Austria
4
Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and River Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1180 Vienna, Austria
5
ViewCopter e. U., 9560 Feldkirchen, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(3), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12030384
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 22 January 2020 / Published: 25 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress on the Use of UAS Techniques for Environmental Monitoring)
In Austria, more than a half of all electricity is produced with the help of hydropower plants. To reduce their ecological impact, dams are being equipped with fish passages that support connectivity of habitats of riverine fish species, contributing to hydropower sustainability. The efficiency of fish passages is being constantly monitored and improved. Since the likelihood of fish passages to be discovered by fish depends, inter alia, on flow conditions near their entrances, these conditions have to be monitored as well. In this study, we employ large-scale particle image velocimetry (LSPIV) in seeded flow conditions to analyse images of the area near a fish passage entrance, captured with the help of a ready-to-fly consumer drone. We apply LSPIV to short image sequences and test different LSPIV interrogation area sizes and correlation methods. The study demonstrates that LSPIV based on ensemble correlation yields velocities that are in good agreement with the reference values regarding both magnitude and flow direction. Therefore, this non-intrusive methodology has a potential to be used for flow monitoring near fish passages on a regular basis, enabling timely reaction to undesired changes in flow conditions when possible. View Full-Text
Keywords: PIV; LSPIV; UAS; drone; fish passage; flow pattern; optical analysis PIV; LSPIV; UAS; drone; fish passage; flow pattern; optical analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Strelnikova, D.; Paulus, G.; Käfer, S.; Anders, K.-H.; Mayr, P.; Mader, H.; Scherling, U.; Schneeberger, R. Drone-Based Optical Measurements of Heterogeneous Surface Velocity Fields around Fish Passages at Hydropower Dams. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 384.

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