Water quality monitoring through remote sensing with UAVs is best conducted using multispectral sensors; however, these sensors are expensive. We aimed to predict multispectral bands from a low-cost sensor (R, G, B bands) using artificial neural networks (ANN). We studied a lake located on the campus of Unisinos University, Brazil, using a low-cost sensor mounted on a UAV. Simultaneously, we collected water samples during the UAV flight to determine total suspended solids (TSS) and dissolved organic matter (DOM). We correlated the three bands predicted with TSS and DOM. The results show that the ANN validation process predicted the three bands of the multispectral sensor using the three bands of the low-cost sensor with a low average error of 19%. The correlations with TSS and DOM resulted in R² values of greater than 0.60, consistent with literature values.
Keywords: artificial neural networks; correlation; spectral imaging; unmanned aerial vehicles; water quality monitoring.