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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317067

Research Project: PATHOGEN FATE AND TRANSPORT IN IRRIGATION WATERS

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Pilot study of using UAV to reveal spatial patterns of indicator bacteria concentrations in ponds and reservoirs used for irrigation

Author
item Morgan, Billie
item STOCKER, MATT - Orise Fellow
item Pachepsky, Yakov
item Shelton, Daniel

Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2015
Publication Date: 5/20/2015
Citation: Griffith, B.J., Stocker, M., Pachepsky, Y.A., Shelton, D.R. 2015. Pilot study of using UAV to reveal spatial patterns of indicator bacteria concentrations in ponds and reservoirs used for irrigation. BARC Poster Day. 26th Annual Beltsville Poster Day, National Agriculture Library on May 20, 2015.

Interpretive Summary: .

Technical Abstract: Determination of indicator bacteria concentrations in irrigation water recently became mandatory for farmers. These concentrations are known to have large spatial variability in ponds and reservoirs. This variability is partially attributed to affinity of indicator bacteria to algae accumulations. We used the aquacopter – a hobby waterproof remotely controlled quadcopter outfitted with three band camera and water sampling tube – to test possibilities of (a) relating E. coli concentrations to algae accumulations, and (b) taking samples with UAV that are comparable with grab samples. We found that concentrations of bacteria in algae assemblages are one to two orders of magnitude higher than in waters with low algae contents. No statistically significant difference was found between E. coli concentrations in UAV and grab samples. Results indicate the possibility of using remotely sensed information on algae accumulation to design the sampling pattern for recovering spaial patter of E. coli distributions in water.