Under Ice Oil Spill Mapping Response System for MBARI Long-Range AUV
Inventors: Amy Kukulya, Brett Hobson (MBARI), Jim Bellingham
Intellectual Property: Pending
Overview: The Arctic has been established as the newest frontier for oil. However, limited accessibility inhibits effective responses to accurately map spilled oil at any given time. Most remote sensing techniques for oil detection in ice-covered waters are conducted mainly airborne or using “on ice” systems. While some techniques have proved moderately successful, the current majority of techniques rely on visuals to “see” through the ice and snow to detect oil; which can create logistical challenges. In order to effectively map oil spills, under-ice mapping is required. AUVs have been used under ice and have mapped oil in ice-free environments. Given the logistical complexity, the Arctic poses, AUVs used in this environment would need to be portable, maintain long-range endurance and variable speed capabilities.
Technology: Under Ice Oil Spill Mapping Response System is a plug-and-play sensor system designed for MBARI long-range AUVs (LRAUV) which is equipped with oceanographic sensors as well as sensors necessary for oil detection and mapping. The MBARI LRAUV is developed to be helicopter-deployable and system integration allows mission planning techniques for technicians and first responders operating in the Arctic. The data that can be autonomously obtained is crucial to develop baseline data in the Arctic additionally, quickly provide information to decision-makers during environmental disasters in order to limit damages.