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Project: Satellite-based microwave remote sensing for marine litter mapping

Acronym: MARES
Main Objective:
Man-made marine litter constitutes nowadays a major environmental threat. Most of current studies address optical detection techniques, but these have impairments related to lighting conditions, cloud cover and biofouling.

Microwave techniques (MW) do not suffer from the previous limitations, therefore, they are a potential resource for detection of marine floating litter. However, to date, there is no systematic characterization of the MW signature of floating plastic.

The objective of the project is to characterize the MW response of floating macroplastic, to find the most favorable MW sensing modality, best frequency bands and, for each one, find the minimum required concentration of the litter and size of the patch for positive detection.

The study will consider known active radar imaging and non-imaging techniques as well as passive radiometric techniques. It will include the development or extension of known data processing and analysis methods to favor the detection of plastic litter.
Region of Intervention: Lisboa e Vale do Tejo
Reference: ESA STAR 2-1806/21/NL/GLC/ov
Funding: ESA-ESTEC
Approval Date: 27-09-2021
Start Date: 04-10-2021
End Date: 31-12-2023
Team: Carlos Antonio Cardoso Fernandes, Sérgio de Almeida Matos, João Manuel de Almeida Monteiro Felício, Jorge Manuel Lopes Leal Rodrigues da Costa, Rafael Ferreira da Silva Caldeirinha, Paulo Alexandre Carapinha Marques, António Manuel Restani Graça Alves Moreira, Tomás Soares da Costa, Mário António Patrício Carreira Vala
Groups: Antennas and Propagation – Lx, Antennas and Propagation – Lr, Pattern and Image Analysis – Lx
Partners: Instituto de Telecomunicações
Local Coordinator: Carlos Antonio Cardoso Fernandes

Associated Publications