Accession Number:



UAS Characterization of Oil in Ice Volume 1: Laboratory Results

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Final Report]

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The U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration executed an experiment on remote sensing of fresh non-emulsified and emulsified oil in ice at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. Multispectral sensors mounted on an Unmanned Aircraft System UAS identified different levels of oil thickness and differentiated between emulsified and non-emulsified oil under simulated Arctic conditions. Non-linear thermal imagery was able to segment and classify areas of ice cover. A multispectral sensor differentiated emulsions between 10 m and 50 m. Apparent temperature measurements could be converted to oil thickness over the range of 50 m to 5,000 m using a logarithmic function. The minimum detection limit of the thermal sensor for the oil was between 50 m and 100 m. Acoustic sensors on a remotely operated vehicle ROV were shown to perform well with measuring thicker oil slicks greater than 1,000 m. The experiments provide a foundation for further research to implement a processing routine that can be applied to field operations to detect ice cover and oil thicknesses under different environmental conditions and ice densities.

Subject Categories:

  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Water Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]