Outstanding flight characteristics, low operating costs, high useful load for surveillance equipment and an almost 360° cockpit view make the SportStar the ideal aircraft for surveillance missions. The SportStar can be deployed for the monitoring of electrical networks, pipe lines, agriculture areas, forest fires and borders.
Senior scientist at NASA, Dr. Rafat Ansari, operates his SportStar aircraft for an important science campaign. GPS-enabled cameras mounted on the underside of the aircraft´s wings monitor the presence of harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie of the Great Lakes in North America. The aircraft flies along the coastline of Lake Erie while the camera continually snaps infrared and colour images every five seconds from Cleveland, Ohio to Monroe, Michigan. About 1,300 images are taken during every flight. “The goal is to help develop an early warning system to alert communities about algal blooms in their coastal neighbourhoods,” says Ansari to TV Cleveland 19 News.
All images and data are available to the public online. “It typically takes three to four days to get data from satellites,” says Ansari. “But data from small aircraft is available within a couple of hours. Additionally, small aircraft flying at lower altitudes can image algal blooms not always visible from satellites or high flying aircraft.”
Broadcast on Live TV Cleveland 19 News http://www.cleveland19.com/story/32815565/monitoring-algae-blooms-in-lak...
Photo credit: NASA