Hess, F.R. and D.G. Aubrey
Limnol. Oceanogr., Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 426-431, 1985 WHOI-R-85-002
A commercially available radio-controlled miniature aircraft was modified and deployed as part of a field study of the ebbtidal flow characteristics of a natural, unstructured tidal inlet. To complement Eulerian current measurements within the main inlet channel, surface drifter and rhodamine dye patches were observed from the miniature aircraft and recorded with a 35- mm camera. Position reference was provided with an array of precisely located markers on land and in the water. The miniature aircraft is an inexpensive, accurate alternative for Lagrangian studies in tidal inlets and estuaries, with many advantages over alternate techniques (such as hot-air balloons, fixed platforms, manned aircraft, or chaser boats).