CBEC’s wildlife reserve is home to two large salt marsh habitats that serve as stomping grounds for various estuarine wildlife. A growing threat to salt marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay is the invasion of non- native species. Invasive grass species, such as Phragmites, overcrowds and uproots native wetland plants leading to the loss of habitat and available food sources for native species. To better understand and control these invasive populations scientists study growth patterns and atmospheric conditions of salt marsh habitats throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
CBEC uses AEROKATS to monitor the behavior of invasive marsh grasses and the surrounding environmental conditions over time via kite- based aerial imaging and in- situ atmospheric data collection.
Read NASA’s Spin-Off story on the development and use of kites informally with students and for scientific research. https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2018/ee_8.html
CBEC’s fleet includes multiple kites and data collection platform designs: