Published February 9, 2021 | Version 1.0
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D3.2 Operational protocols for acquisition and deployment. Deliverable report of project H2020 MONOCLE (grant 776480)


This document constitutes Deliverable 3.2 of the MONOCLE project and defines operational protocols for deployment of new sensors and platforms. Most systems described here are designed to collect radiometric data to characterise irradiance arriving at and leaving the water surface. These systems are essential to build ground networks to support satellite observation calibration and validation. The systems described here range from those delivering low-cost observations, including smartphone extensions and the use of ‘prosumer’ drones with added payload, to reference systems incorporating high-end spectrometers to provide stable measurements from diverse platforms. In addition, sensors and methodologies which complement in situ and remote radiometric observations are included, specifically to monitor nutrients, turbidity and transparency in optically and morphologically complex water bodies, at small spatial scales.

The aim of this report is to provide a set of protocols for the deployment of the MONOCLE systems to ensure best practices before, during and after data collection After reading these protocols, operators will be able to work with the following MONOCLE sensors/platforms in the field to collect reliable data:

  • Peak Design Ltd Hyperspectral Radiometer (HSR): intended for permanent mounting situations, providing reference measurements of hyperspectral Global and Diffuse irradiance in the 350 nm – 1050 nm spectral range
  • Solar-tracking radiometry platform (So-Rad): intended to maintain optimal viewing angles of radiance sensors recording water-leaving reflectance in order to avoid sun glint and platform shading, even from moving platforms (ships and buoys). The system is developed to operate autonomously, with low power consumption, integrating radiance sensors and providing connectivity with the MONOCLE back-end.
  • WISPstation: using two sets of sensors looking NNW and NNE to collect water leaving reflectance data. It provides two optimal viewing geometry moments during the day and a large time window with acceptable viewing geometries that can be accounted for.
  • Imaging sensors onboard of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS or drones):  for the observation of water-leaving reflectance and to derive water quality parameters including Total Suspended Matter (TSM) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) with RGB and multispectral sensors.
  • iSPEX 2: a smartphone add-on that turns the smartphone camera into a spectropolarimeter. A grating projects a spectrum onto the smartphone camera. This spectrum is modulated by a highly chromatic retarder to include dark bands that contain information on the linear polarisation of the incoming light.
  • KdUINO (KdUSTICK and KdUMOD), a Do-It-Yourself moored instrument that measures the diffuse attenuation coefficient (Kd). The purpose is to assess the water transparency, a critical parameter to know the environmental status of water bodies, strongly affected by different water quality related components (such as the presence of phytoplankton, organic matter and sediment concentrations).
  • FreshWater Watch (FWW) is an integrated and flexible citizen science programme run with a specific focus on water quality monitoring. The programme was designed to explore the effects of river restoration, catchment management practices and land use change on the chemical, biological and optical characteristics of freshwater ecosystems, including lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, canals, and wetlands.



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MONOCLE – Multiscale Observation Networks for Optical monitoring of Coastal waters, Lakes and Estuaries 776480
European Commission