5G Harnessed for Monitoring of Blue-green Algae at the Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea pilot
Tarja Österberg
Communications Manager, WEA
Aug 29, 2019

Video from a drone, computer vision and superfast 5G connections were harnessed for monitoring the Baltic Sea in a trial conducted in Kirkkonummi. In the trial Nokia, Nordkapp, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Telia and Vaisala developed new tools for SYKE researchers for monitoring the environment.

In the trial, the blue-green algae situation was monitored with a drone and computer vision. The camera and sensor -equipped drone was flown over the Baltic Sea, and the high-resolution video was transmitted over 5G for real-time analysis.

“Blue-green algae monitoring is based on multiple sources of information, including satellite imagery and automated chlorophyll measurements from ferries sailing the Baltic Sea. This data is combined with local visual observations made at the shoreline. In the trial at Kirkkonummi, the drones operated over a wide area outside the line of sight, and the information was transferred in real time to computer vision. Under good conditions, computer vision detected blue-green algae with over 90 percent accuracy”, says Jari Silander of SYKE.

Drone-shot video, fast connections and real-time, AI driven data analysis in data centers offer significant new opportunities for environmental monitoring. Besides blue-green algae, drones can be used to track the spread of plastic waste or locate oil leaks. Timely information adds to the situational awareness of the environment specialists and researchers and helps to make quick decisions to prevent environmental hazards.
5G, computer vision and video analytics – the technology behind new monitoring methods

”5G technology can provide detailed and accurate real-time data for computer vision,     which in turn can be used in a variety of areas”, says Pia Tanskanen, Head of     Environment at Nokia. “This trial demonstrates that 5G can make huge impact on     what we can do for the environment.”

“Drones in combination with Vaisala’s computer vision capabilities provide     unprecedented, real-time insights into environmental conditions. As we are     continuously exploring new ways to apply Vaisala technologies for the benefit of society and the environment, we are extremely excited to be part of this initiative”,     says Erik Sucksdorff, Head of Strategy at Vaisala’s Weather and Environment     Business Area.

”5G, with its low latency and greater capacity, has already proven its usefulness in video analytics in industrial solutions. It is also excellent for drone management and communication, with the projected growth of drone traffic”, says Janne Koistinen, 5G Program Lead at Telia Finland. 
”This pilot is a great example how we can together develop solutions for society’s pressing needs and challenges. Our role has been to explore new connections, find purpose for new technology and bring right players together. We are happy to see that this project lead to fruitful co-operation and real-life pilot”, says Ilkka Haavisto, Business Development Director at Nordkapp.

Video about the project.

Further information:

Nokia – 5G technology, drones
Nokia Communications
Phone: +358 10 448 4900, [email protected]

Nordkapp – Concepting and 5G future use cases
Business Development Director Ilkka Haavisto, [email protected]

Finnish Environment Institute SYKE – Baltic Sea and environmental monitoring
Senior research scientist Jari Silander, tel. +358 295 251 638, [email protected]

Telia Finland – 5G use cases
Innovation Manager Mika Raitola, tel. +358 40 827 1019, [email protected]

Vaisala – Computer vision
Vaisala Media Desk, tel. +358 20 619 8800, [email protected]


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Nordkapp is a strategic design consultancy headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Our goal is to drive your business impact by creating better futures, experiences and cultures.

For over a decade, we’ve succeeded with clients ranging from Fortune Global 500 to emerging startups. We don’t just deliver, we partner & thrive together to create leaders of tomorrow. It's what we call futures thinking, doing and learning.

SYKE is a multidisciplinary research and expert institute. Our most important task is to solve society's most burning questions that have an impact on the environment. https://www.syke.fi/en-US

Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurement. Building on over 80 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for a better world. We are a reliable partner for customers around the world, offering a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1,850 professionals worldwide and is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.