Field Research Using Herders to Advance In Situ Burning

Key Goals

The project’s overall objectives were twofold:

  • Prove the operational feasibility of an aerial herder/burn response strategy using both manned and remote controlled helicopters.
  • Reaffirm the effectiveness of herders in open water and with ice present.

The overall aim was to develop a rapid response aerial system that enhances a responders’ ability to use offshore ISB in very open drift ice conditions (10 to 30% ice coverage) as well as ice-free waters.

More specifically, the research project goals were to:

  • Construct an above-ground lined test basin (approximately 90m x 90m x 1m deep).
  • Conduct laboratory testing with a selected crude oil to determine its spill-related physical properties and determine the effectiveness of two commercially-available herders in thickening the crude oil slick on fresh water.
  • Conduct helicopter testing to confirm the suitability of the prototype aerial herder delivery system and its spray pattern.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of robotic helicopter technology to apply herders and igniters.
  • Prove the overall feasibility and effectiveness of using herders and ISB as an integrated, fully aerial response option.
  • Prepare a project technical report.
  • Present the research findings at a scientific/technical conference.
  • Publish the research findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.