(1) Thermal phenomenology in aquatic environments
RIT's Laboratory for Imaging Algorithms and Systems (LIAS) and Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing (DIRS) Group have invested in studying thermal phenomena in aquatic environments using the WASP and WASP-Lite sensors. Examples include pollution monitoring (see figure below left & below right, SE corner), boat tracking and identification (figures below). IPLER will include sponsorship if this and other thermal research towards development of operational algorithms for anomaly detection (e.g., boats, oil spills, etc.) and natural resource monitoring.
Dike leaks: This is a thermal image, captured by RIT's Wildfire Airborne Sensing Program (WASP) sensor. Note the warmer water flow through various northwest sections of a dike system - a potential breach and subsequent disaster scenario?
Boat tracking on Lake Ontario: This image shows a speed boat being tracked across a section of Lake Ontario, near Rochester, NY. The boat's wake is easily detectable due to the mixing of colder sub-surface water with warmer surface layers.
Boat tracking on Lake Ontario: Boats can be identified in the thermal IR due to the thermal/aquatic phenomenology - this enables responders to detect a boat and zoom in for identification using high spatial resolution RGB cameras
WASP downlink: A schematic that shows the process of data acquisition, downlink, and map overlay. Note that the data is geo-registered on baord the aircraft in real-time for immediate use in a geospatial environment.
(2) Real-time, direct downlink capability for data/product display
RIT's WASP sensor architecture includes the capability to downlink data to a ground receiving station through a radio-frequency (RF) link (left) - this is currently limited to the Rochester, NY area (below), but developments are underway to make the system fully mobile.
Real-time data: Real-time image download (top-left) and flight tracking (top-right) from the WASP system via an RF-downlink