Leman-Baikal Project

Exploring lakes from the air

Scientific goals:

  • Develop a remote-sensing platform to collect thermal, multispectral and hyperspectral images of lakes
  • Create 2-D maps of chlorophyll-a and suspended solid at high spatial resolution, and interpret their heterogeneity
  • Determine lake energy balance

This project was an international collaboration between Swiss and Russian scientists to compare Lakes Leman and Baikal. Russian students learnt how to treat the collected images during 4 months internships at EPFL. Five laboratories within EPFL collaborated on this project.

Data collection:

In 2013: 32 flights took place above Lake Leman and 32 flights above the Selenga Delta on Lake Baikal

In 2014: three campaigns took place over Lake Leman in February/March, April/May and September/October. In August, a mission with our Russian colleagues allowed to collect images over the entire Selenga Delta.

In 2015: the last ULM fligths on Lake Geneva took place from March to June. From 10 July to 13 August, the different teams analysed 5 sites, during an expedition around Lake Baikal totalising more than 1800 km by boat.


This project helped to launch the world’s smallest and lightest hyperspectral imaging camera, that is now sold by the successfull start-up Gamaya. Further scientific results are highlighted below.


See more

For more information on the Leman-Baikal project and on the previous project on MIR submarines.