Remote Sensing of Scrap Tires: Vector Source, Ohio Valley: First Year Report

scrap tires

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Improperly stored vehicle tires serve as an excellent breeding habitat for several mosquito species that vector a number of human and animal diseases. The commercial trade of used tires is also considered to be responsible for the introduction and spread of several mosquito species, including the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse). Improperly stored, or illegally dumped tires are clearly a public health concern. Current methods used for locating tire piles are time consuming, labor intensive and generally ineffective. Remote sensing, particularly the use of multispectral video imagery obtained from aircraft, may be a viable alternative for detecting tires in the environment. Measurements of the spectral reflectance of used vehicle tires and various background coverages were acquired in the range of 350-2500 nanometers at bandwidths of 2 and 4 nm using a portable spectroradiometer. The best spectral regions for differentiating tires from background coverages were identified and selected for data collection. Video imagery of tire piles varying in size from approximately 50 to 3 million tires, and located in rural and urban areas throughout the Ohio valley, were acquired at altitudes of approximately 150, 300 and 450 meters above ground level at three different spectral wavelengths. Individual video frames containing the tire sites were then digitized for computerized analysis using both supervised and unsupervised classification algorithms.

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Last updated: 6 May 1999