Next day generation of water quality products to support NASA Hyperspectral Imaging of Lake Erie

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



In 2015 NASA Glenn operated a hyperspectral imaging system (HSI) from a small aircraft in an effort to provide information regarding harmful cyanobacteria (cyanoHAB) presence in Lake Erie and the Ohio River. The team flew missions at least once a week in Lake Erie from July-October covering areas where in situ measurements were routinely collected as well as many water intake locations. To facilitate the prompt dissemination of cyanoHAB occurrence information to vested stakeholders, near real-time (next day) processing was performed. An automated process was developed which atmospherically corrected all images using an empirical flat field approach. Two cyanoHAB detection algorithms, including the cyanobacterial index (CI) and surface scum index (SSI) were then applied to the images to generate occurrence maps. There was good agreement between HSI derived CI and SSI images and coincident in situ data indicating the HSI is producing accurate data. The high spatial resolution of the HSI provided unique information which is not always available through current satellite observations. Small scale features were detected near the Toledo intake at the beginning of the bloom that were not visible from space. The HSI is also able to fly under complete cloud cover producing results while the lake was unobservable from space.

Publisher's Statement

© 2016 International Association for Great Lakes Research. Publisher's version of record: http://iaglr.org/conference/downloads/2016_abstracts.pdf

Publication Title

IAGLR 59th Annual Conference