Water quality monitoring using RGB cameras

Indy Magnus: In this presentation, we will explain how a ‘Water-Quality Early Alert System’, enabling the remote, continuous and real-time monitoring of water using RGB cameras is being developed. Generally, the idea is to correlate the RGB camera images to a variety of physicochemical parameters and biological parameters without direct contact or the need of water samples. By doing a spectroscopic study of water with different parameters, using both a spectroradiometer and hyperspectral camera, the RGB camera outlook (filters, lenses) can be optimized. Machine learning techniques are employed to process the high-dimensional data and push the sensing performance even further.

Interview

What drives you?
The challenge of applying novel techniques based on optics, photonics and AI to solve a variety of problems and help the industry forward.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Monitoring the water quality is a major, but important challenge. By combining the domains of biology, optics and AI, a remote sensing solution can be found that can be interesting to a wide audience.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
In the short run, remoting sensing can be used in combination with current test strips, probes or chemical analysis to improve the detection. In the long rung, it can be a complete and promising alternative for water utilities, water agencies and regulators.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Water utilities, water agencies and regulators will benefit greatly from a remote, continuous and real-time monitoring of water. Having direct access to a variety of water parameters using a small and cheap camera device can have a large impact.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Replacing current sensing techniques with a completely new way of remote sensing might take some time, both for the industry and the practitioner. Lots of data are required to verify and test data-driven sensing techniques.

About Indy Magnus
Indy Magnus (12-08-1995) is an R&D engineer at VUB B-PHOT. He obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the VUB in 2016 and 2018. His specialization mainly focused on system identification, control systems and RF electronics.
After these studies, Indy started the European Master of Science in Photonics Master at VUB. He obtained his degree in 2020, after which he joined the Department of Applied Physics and Photonics as a researcher. Indy has a profound interest in spectroscopy and machine learning.

About B-PHOT Brussels Photonics
B-PHOT Brussels Photonics is a research group within the Faculty of Engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Our continuous mission is to advance photonics, the key digital technology that uses the unique properties of light to innovate. As such we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. We are recognized by the Flemish Government as “Photonics Spearhead for Industrial Research and Innovation” because of our track record for transferring photonics expertise and innovation breakthroughs to companies. B-PHOT is also uniquely involved as coordinator of the EC-funded pan-European initiative ACTPHAST that supports both SMEs and researchers with photonics innovation.

Indy Magnus will speak at the 2021 edition of the Smart Farming Conference.

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