Cyanobacteria from space

Cyanobacteria occurrences are more and more frequent in many water bodies around the world. Due to their potential harmfulness, the detection and monitoring of cyanobacteria blooms are especially relevant for freshwater bodies where communities develop recreational activities as well as for government instances that assess and monitor water quality for reporting purposes.  Assessing cyanobacteria from space can be difficult, as sensors need to measure at a specific wavelength (625 nm) to catch the phycocyanin absorption peak that differentiates cyanobacteria from other algae. The European Sentinel-3 OLCI sensor is one such sensor that can observe this special spectral and is thus a valuable tool in helping detect cyanobacteria blooms from space.

Providing in near real time its users with water quality information

During the H2020 CyanoAlert project (2016-2020), Brockmann Consult GmbH together with our sister companies Brockmann Geomatics and Odermatt & Brockmann developed a warning system for Cyanobacteria occurrences. Once the project ended, the CyanoAlert Service started and is now being offered to our users and customers. 

The CyanoAlert service consists of several elements that help users receive data, as well as visualise and analyse different water quality parameters in their lakes of interest. The service offers a (1) viewer, (2) a mobile app and (3) a warning service tailored to the needs of each customer. During the development of the service –  within the CyanoAlert project we developed and validated existing and new algorithms to assess water quality, amongst which chlorophyll concentration and cyanobacteria occurrences.

 Based on these algorithms (in particular special calibration of the MPH algorithm and the C2RCC algorithm) and a dedicated processing system environment, the CyanoAlert partners established the CyanoAlert Services, providing in near real time its users with water quality information. This information is available via a designated web portal; chlorophyll bloom and cyanobacteria event alerts can also be provided via email. A public CyanoAlert App provides users with the possibility to look for the chlorophyll concentration in water bodies of interest as well as to report back the colour of the water as well as appearances of algal blooms, especially cyanobacteria blooms. This user information is then used to verify the CyanoAlert products. 

The data provision via the viewer is organized in data cubes containing the time series of user-selected parameters which are automatically updated with each new received acquisition.  

Worldwide service

The service can be ordered worldwide and is currently operational in Sweden and Northern Germany. The service consists of several service elements from set-up to NRT data visualisation and Cyanoalert provision and user support. Optional service elements provide additional support such as advanced validation with in-situ data or dedicated reporting. The CyanoAlert App is open source (android) and can be downloaded from GooglePlay Store.  



  • Algorithm and processing chain implementation 

  • Datacube development 

  • Product generation and validation 

  • Software development: CyanoAlert Viewer 

  • Algal warning alert generation 

  • User interaction 


LLUR, LfULG, Brockmann Geomatics, Odermatt&Brockmann, INCDDD, InfoBaltic, ISS 

Download CyanoAlert App

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Read more about GDPR in relation to the CyanoAlert App: EU GDPR compliance and Privacy Policy document.

Images contain modified Copernicus Service information [2020].