Year: 2012 to 2015.
The main goal of the project MESTRAL (stands for Modelling and advanced observational tEchnologies to link tranSport processes, opTically-active constituents, and wateR light-field vAriability in a coastaL ecosystem) was to investigate the presence of small-scale transport processes in the Alfacs Bay, and how they affect the spatial patterns of optically active constituents (sediments, phytoplankton and dissolved organic matter) and the underwater light-field variability. Over three years the Marine Technology Unit (CMIMA / CSIC), directed by Jaume Piera, conducted scientific surveys in order to collect a large set of data to develop a complete physical model. To obtain adequate spatial and temporal resolution of the data small robotic submarines (AUV) and simultaneously UAV systems of CATUAV were used. The purpose of the flights was to obtain orthophotos showing the thermal behavior of the different water masses in the bay.
CATUAV acquired RGB, near-infrared and thermal data of different water areas. The results were radiometrically calibrated to properly retrieve water temperature values that could be correlated with AUV data. Images were also used to generate orthophotomaps of water areas.