Friday 04/06/2021 was the official start of the PLP2021 target construction phase. A group of 20 MRSG team members and volunteer students worked in Skala Loutron to assemble the HDPE mesh sheet that will make-up the marine litter target representative material. A total of 23 rows of white 1.2 m wide HDPE mesh were “stitched” together using thin 4 mm nylon rope. The HDPE mesh rows will be attached to a 28 m diameter HDPE pipe circular frame, covering a total of 615 m2. The rows were stitched together in 7 groups of 3 and 4 rows each to facilitate the assemblage of the whole 28 m diameter sheet and it’s attachment on the circular frame. In order to partially raise the HDPE mesh sheet from the sea surface (simulating partly dry material floating above the surface), 4 L HDPE containers were attached on the sheet at 2.5 m intervals.
The second stage of construction will include the attachment of 70 additional 4 L containers, the assemblage of the circular target frame and the attachment of the HDPE sheet on the target frame, which will take place in shallow waters due to space restrictions at the construction site. The assembled target will then be towed to the final deployment site and tethered to the buoys that have already been anchored in place. The acquisition phase of PLP2021 will commence right after the deployment of the target with the first Sentinel 2 overpass.