Application of an unmanned surface vessel with ult.. (DRONIC)
Application of an unmanned surface vessel with ultrasonic, environmentally friendly system to (map and) control blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria)
Start date: Jan 1, 2014,
End date: Jun 30, 2016
Through the DRONIC project, the consortium will showcase a new, innovative blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) monitoring and treatment robotic system, that can localize hotpots of blue-green algae blooms and only treats the part of the lake which is experiencing blue-green algae bloom. Because of the direct and localized treatment, the system is environmentally friendly, with a minimal impact on the ecology of the lake.The new water robot concerns the retrieval, prevention and abatement of harmful algae blooms in lakes and in inland water reservoirs used for drinking water production.In lakes and reservoirs, species of blue-green algae and their concentrations can vary locally due to wind or water flow direction and local variations in temperature, nutrients and depths. In lakes and reservoirs, hotspots of blue-green algal blooms can be often detected only in one area of the water body whereas other area's experience no problems due to blue-green algae. Therefore, it is important to map the algal concentration over extended at flexible, different area's in order to localize algal hotspots. The mobility of the robot will allow targeted intensive algae reduction at hotspot locations, thereby increasing the efficiency of the abatement measure.Measurements directly related to algae concentration will be combined with measures of water quality and dimension related parameters to locate the algae, make an estimation of the local water quality and hydrographic parameters.This new robotic approach offers the first cost-effective method to control algal blooms in larger lakes, reservoirs, canals and rivers with low water velocity (< 1 m/s). With DRONIC technology blooms of blue-green algae will be treated locally at the place where the blooms are present and there is no need to treat the complete surface of the lake or reservoir anymore. Besides that, with the local use of higher power ultrasound, also the cyanobacterial by-products like toxins can be neutralized.
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