Doug Wolfinger, Satelytics Scientist, Presents Revolutionary Salinity Findings at Meeting of the Minds, AEG Chicago

At Work, Development, Science & Technology, Environment

Doug Wolfinger, Satelytics Scientist, Presents Revolutionary Salinity Findings at Meeting of the Minds, AEG Chicago

Satellite technology and the techniques using remote sensing data have evolved to provide what is often the most efficient and effective way to conduct environmental analysis. Remote sensing datasets provide more ubiquitous coverage in terms of geographical area and time series, and methods using the data have evolved to enable researchers to extract the same information that is obtained from data collected from field samples.

Salinity monitoring is crucial in various applications, such as understanding the behavior of sea water for oceanographic studies, maintenance of estuarine health, monitoring of surficial water produced by hydraulic fracturing, and regulation of desalination plants. For these reasons, salinity assessment is of great interest to organizations that monitor environmental conditions with respect to contamination. Yet, given its relative insipient position in environmental science, remote sensing analysis, many industry professionals are unaware of its benefits. That’s why Satelytics scientist, Doug Wolfinger, recently presented his salinity detection research at a Chicago AEG meeting. The event was well-attended and the presentation was well-received. At its conclusion, many people had interesting questions that involved aspects of the research and Satelytics’ results in similar previous work, such as satellite technology, previous successes in remote detection of environmental constituents, and the applicability of salinity detection.

Salinity monitoring is crucial in various applications, such as understanding the behavior of sea water for oceanographic studies, maintenance of estuarine health, monitoring of surficial water produced by hydraulic fracturing, and regulation of desalination plants.

He is applying a method used to detect environmental constituents established by Satelytics founder, Dr. Robert Vincent, to detect salinity content in water. There have been previous attempts at this in the scientific community, but the method Doug is using is unique and is expected to produce more useful results. This is because results in previous literature were useful only at the specific site where the research was conducted, whereas Doug’s function will be intended for use anywhere there is water. The research to develop the function involves collecting observed salinity data and satellite data that geospatially corresponds with the salinity data. 

Salinity readings are stored on the National Data Buoy Center’s website and the satellite data is from Landsat 8, which is accessed on United State Geological Survey’s Earth Explorer website. Landsat 8 multispectral images are processed to extract data from each of available wavelengths. Salinity is now a critical part of the Satelytics software suite allowing current and new customers to take advantage of this technology!

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