Coral bleaching and biodiversity monitoring in coral reef areas with drone’s multi-spectral imaging application
The rising seawater temperature caused by global warming has significant impact on the corals, (known as coral bleaching) and biodiversity. To address this situation, in 2021 PTTEP in collaboration with Kasetsart University and AI and Robotics Ventures Company Limited (ARV), have launched a project of the coral bleaching and biodiversity monitoring in coral reef areas with drone multi-spectral imaging application to monitor and evaluate coral bleaching and biodiversity which is the first time this has been done in Southeast Asia
The project aims to survey the coral bleaching and biodiversity monitoring in coral reef areas with drone multi-spectral imaging application to continuously monitor and evaluate the coral bleaching and biodiversity situation surrounding Koh Man Nai and Hin Tuoy Hoi in Rayong province including developing the coral reef ecosystem and bleaching map utilizing marine spatial analytics.
Result from multi-spectral camera together with field surveys by expert researchers have been used for the analysis. The survey drone camera is able to take aerial images with Red-Green-Blue (RGB) at 30- and 50- meters heights, covering an area of 100,000 square meters. The aerial multi-spectrum images taken at 30 meters provide more accuracy and detail than 50 meters above the ground, allowing for distinguishing of algae covering the bleached coral. The green color represents a spot of the algae that covers bleached corals.
This study result of coral bleaching and biodiversity monitoring in ecological system is an effective method and highly accurate study-derived coral reef ecosystem and bleaching map, covering a wide area of surveying, more than traditional field survey techniques (Manta Tow) or Life Form Transection Analysis. Further development for more advanced application is under study to make surveying and analyzing biodiversity change much faster and become more efficient.