The research results support the conclusion that there are several airborne and surface imaging systems technologies that exist today capable of, or having the potential for, effective sensing in a range of Arctic ice and environmental conditions.
The meso-scale basin testing showed that all of the sensors were capable of detecting oil in ice under certain conditions but there was no one system that could deal with a broad range of oil in ice scenarios. Variables included oil film thickness, location of the oil layer within the ice sheet and exposed oil beneath the ice or on the surface.
The basin trials provided the first demonstrated ability to detect oil encapsulated within an ice sheet using acoustic and fluorescence polarization sensors looking up from below the ice.
The infrared (IR) test program demonstrated that IR sensors can detect oil spilled on the ice surface during daylight hours and potentially for part of the night-time period.
The basin tests with the airborne radar prototype demonstrated for the first time that a radar system suspended above the ice can detect oil spilled beneath an ice sheet.
The new remote sensing operational guide synthesises the existing knowledge base on oil in ice remote sensing and provides a concise operationally-oriented tool that responders can use to select the most effective sensors and platforms for a given set of conditions, operating both above and below the ice. Dealing specifically with twelve different oil and ice scenarios, this is the first such guide of its kind.
The JIP’s remote sensing programme greatly increased our understanding of capabilities and limitations of different sensors in detecting and mapping oil in ice and represents a significant advance in understanding what is most likely to work in different situations.