The variables and the adaptive thresholds of the UASea ruleset were derived from the UAS Data Acquisition Protocol. The UAS data acquisition protocol developed by Doukari et al. (2019) summarizes the parameters that affect the reliability of the data acquisition process over the marine environment using UAS. The proposed UAS protocol consists of three main sections:

  1. morphology of the study area
  2. environmental conditions
  3. survey planning

The first section includes parameters such as the location of the study area, the prevailing environmental conditions and phenomena prevailing in the area, and marine information (e.g., bathymetry, marine habitats). The parameters of this section are helpful for flight planning decisions, related to flight altitude, the necessary equipment for data collection, and the proper number of UAS surveys needed to capture the extent of the area.
The second section is divided into weather conditions (i.e., wind speed, air temperature, sunglint) and oceanographic parameters (e.g., turbidity, tides, and phenology). These parameters affect the quality of the UAS data the most, as they produce visible artifacts on the sea-surface and the water column, affecting seabed visibility.
The third section refers to the flight parameters like the UAS parameterization, the choice of the proper sensor, and flight planning. Survey planning is a demanding process as it is crucial for an efficient UAS survey.