Ortiz and his fellow researchers are using equipment provided by NASA to identify and keep track of harmful blooms. This also includes blue-green algae also known as cyanobacteria.
“Were developing methodologies to identify the different types of algae from space and cyanobacterium and that will let us improve our early detection of these potentially harmful blooms and that’s really important because it provides an additional safeguard on people’s drinking water,” said Ortiz.
Cyanobacteria is very common in fresh water but under certain conditions can be toxic and has caused water contamination issues in the Lake Erie region in the past.
Ortiz and his team recently published a scientific article about their work on possible solutions to this problem.