Welcome to our new research project website DroPLEts – Drone Pod for Lake Environmental Sampling.

This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ireland funded research will assess the potential of drones to take water samples and physico-chemical data from open lakes. This is a multi-national, multi-disciplinary research team comprised of researchers from the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC), GMIT, industry experts Model Heli Services (MHS), county Clare and researchers from the Jensen Lab, Rutgers University, USA.

The project aims to:

  • Assess the applicability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones for open lake water sampling,
  • Evaluate whether water samples and physico-chemical data collected using drones satisfies the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives for monitored lakes in Ireland, and
  • Examine whether drones can offer a quicker, cost effective, less labour intensive and safer lake sampling protocol as part of the EPA WFD Lake Monitoring programme.

The project recognises the importance of ensuring that the knowledge generated by our research project is communicated effectively on a continuous basis to relevant audiences for the duration of this project and beyond.

Information will be added on a regular basis to ensure you the reader are kept up-to-date on the latest advances within the project and on relevant information surrounding the topic. Check out our blog and twitter so you can interact with us – whether it is to answer any questions or comments you have on the subject or to share information with us.

We look forward to engaging with you


This project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency

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Header photo: Drone image of Lough Corrib

Header photo credit: Ian O’Connor