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Proceedings Paper

Laser-based sensors for oil spill remote sensing
Author(s): Carl E. Brown; Mervin F. Fingas; Joseph V. Mullin
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Paper Abstract

Remote sensing is becoming an increasingly important tool for the effective direction of oil spill countermeasures. Cleanup personnel have recognized that remote sensing can increase spill cleanup efficiency. It has long been recognized that there is no one sensor which is capable of detecting oil and related petroleum products in all environments and spill scenarios. There are sensors which possess a wide field-of- view and can therefore be used to map the overall extent of the spill. These sensors, however lack the capability to positively identify oil and related products, especially along complicated beach and shoreline environments where several substrates are present. The laser-based sensors under development by the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada are designed to fill specific roles in oil spill response. The scanning laser environmental airborne fluorosensor (SLEAF) is being developed to detect and map oil and related petroleum products in complex marine and shoreline environments where other non-specific sensors experience difficulty. The role of the SLEAF would be to confirm or reject suspected oil contamination sites that have been targeted by the non-specific sensors. This confirmation will release response crews from the time-consuming task of physically inspecting each site, and direct crews to sites that require remediation. The laser ultrasonic remote sensing of oil thickness (LURSOT) sensor will provide an absolute measurement of oil thickness from an airborne platform. There are presently no sensors available, either airborne or in the laboratory which can provide an absolute measurement of oil thickness. This information is necessary for the effective direction of spill countermeasures such as dispersant application and in-situ burning. This paper describes the development of laser-based airborne oil spill remote sensing instrumentation at Environment Canada and identifies the anticipated benefits of the use of this technology to the oil spill response community.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3059, Advances in Laser Remote Sensing for Terrestrial and Oceanographic Applications, (2 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277605
Show Author Affiliations
Carl E. Brown, Environment Canada (Canada)
Mervin F. Fingas, Environment Canada (Canada)
Joseph V. Mullin, U.S. Minerals Management Service (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3059:
Advances in Laser Remote Sensing for Terrestrial and Oceanographic Applications
Ram Mohan Narayanan; James E. Kalshoven, Editor(s)

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