Water-scanning satellite hits the skies above Scotland

An innovative new study to monitor Scotland’s lakes from space has been launched. Experts from the University of Stirling will use Sentinel satellites to improve the quality and efficiency of […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

An innovative new study to monitor Scotland’s lakes from space has been launched.

Experts from the University of Stirling will use Sentinel satellites to improve the quality and efficiency of water quality sampling.

The £70,000 year-long study aims to identify contaminants in bodies of water such as the nation’s lochs – this pollution could be in the form of harmful algal blooms or other mineral and organic matter.

The satellite works this out from space using a number of factors including by calculating how reflective the water is.

Dr Claire Neil, Research Fellow in Biological and Environmental Sciences, said: “This is the first step in implementing satellite remote sensing as a regulatory data resource and will produce a step change in the way we monitor quality in the UK.

“This method of monitoring provides a more detailed and representative view of the whole lake, when compared to current sampling techniques that typically assess water quality in samples taken close to the lake edge.”