Report on Oil Spill Detection and Mapping in Low Visibility and Ice: Under-Sea Remote Sensing

To-date, the vast majority of remote sensing techniques developed for oil detection in ice-covered waters have focused on airborne or on-ice systems.

While some of these methods have been moderately successful in detecting oil in ice covered seas, sensors mounted on unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) hold the potential to overcome some of the constraints encountered with airborne or surface based methods. This potential needed to be explored.

The report results confirm that unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) have been successfully operating in ice-covered waters and are now a viable technology for under sea ice operations.

UUVs, and especially autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), have the dual advantages of being deployable in a range of ice and weather conditions and are likely the most promising underwater platform for oil spill detection.