Automated analysis of drone data

SeaBee is a Norwegian infrastructure project for drone-based research services for coastal and aquatic studies. It facilitates research, mapping and monitoring of habitats, animal communities and human-made impacts in these environments.

AI-based tools for easy and reliable analysis

The project aims to streamline data collection and analysis using aerial drones. Automating these processes will ensure cost-effective, high-quality data management, and offer a cutting-edge tool to address ongoing environmental challenges.

Drone image of a marine habitat. The image is a blue and green mass in different shades depending on whether the area is water, mud, grasslands etc.
Marine habitat monitoring with drones. Image: Spectrofly/NIVA.

SeaBee provides:

  • drones, equipment, and personnel for data collection,
  • AI-based tools that enable easy and reliable image analysis,
  • cloud-based storage and visualisation tools for easy access and inspection of drone images and analysis products.

Object detection and thematic mapping

SeaBee supports all kinds of image data, including multi-spectral, hyper-spectral and colour images (RGB). NR heads the development of AI algorithms, specifically deep learning, that enables automatic analysis of the data.

Our AI pipeline supports two main tasks: object detection and pixel-wise thematic mapping. Using advanced deep learning algorithms, the framework can be adapted to solve specific tasks, offering a large degree of flexibility with accurate results. Typical outputs include maps of marine habitats in coastal areas and automated recognition of marine mammals and sea birds.

The illustration shows an area captured by drone where environmental elements are segmented into different colours - i.e. brown for mud, green for grass etc.
Habitat map of the drone image featured above. Illustration: NR.

Project: SeaBee – Norwegian Infrastructure for drone-based research, mapping and monitoring in the coastal zone

Partners: The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and GRID-Arendal

Funding: The Research Council of Norway

Period: 2020-2024