Liesbeth De Keukelaere awarded at the CEDA Dredging Days

Last week our colleague Liesbeth De Keukelaere, remote sensing expert water & coast, received the IADC Young Author Award for co-authoring of the research paper "Mapping water quality with drones - test case in Texel".

The paper describes the pilot test case that was setup in October 2018 at the Prins Hendrikzanddijk project in Texel ( The Netherlands) to demonstrate drone technology for water quality monitoring. International dredging company Jan De Nul Group was at that time still working on the construction of a new dune area to create a future-proof water barrier in the form of dunes and improve the ecological value of the Wadden Sea.

During the test case we demonstrated how you can monitor elevated suspended particulate matter concentration in the water during dredging activities. Several flights were performed using a multi-spectral camera and a drone platform with accurate orientation information. During flights the location and the footprint of the camera were closely monitored. The images captured by the camera are shown in real time on the operator’s screen and marine traffic is also tracked and displayed on the same map using  Automatic Identification System (AIS) information. As such, flight missions can be easily adapted during the flight

The captured drone data was uploaded in a semi-automated post-processing workflow to create tailored end-user maps. This workflow allowed us to convert the raw digital numbers captured by the camera into products including true color maps, turbidity maps, total suspended sediment concentrations and Chlorophyll-a concentrations. This was done independently from in-situ observations. Water samples, collected simultaneously with drone flights, were used for the validation of the products.

Check out Liesbeth's latest blog "Drones and dredging! Is there a match?" for more more information and a video about the demonstration. The paper has also been published in Terra et Aqua, IADC's quarterly publication. Click here to view the full document.



The IADC Young Author Award is given annually to stimulate the promotion of new ideas and encourage younger men and women in the dredging industry. At selected conferences, the IADC recognises the best paper written by authors younger than 35 years of age. 


Liesbeth is a young researcher with a Master degree in Bio-Science Engineering. During her career she’s been involved in multiple projects including two FP7 projects – INFORM (Improved monitoring and forecasting of ecological status of European Inland waters by combining Future earth ObseRvation data and Models) and HIGHROC (High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Ocean Colour coastal water products and services) – Belspo funded projects including REMEDY (Remote Monitoring of tropical Ecosystem Dynamics) and DRONESED (Dronese-based Sediment Mapping for Dredging Operations) as well as the ESA PV-LAC project (Advanced Land, Aerosol and Coastal products for Proba-V). 


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776480. For more information about the project, you can visit the MONOCLE website.