Winner 2016

Rosdam, 2016 R&D Award Winner

A feasibility study to investigate the detection capability of hyperspectral imaging technology (HSI) for oil spillages in ice-affected waters

The winner of the 5th ITOPF R&D Award is Rosdam (Remote Oil Spill Detection And Monitoring on ice-covered waters), led by the University of Strathclyde in partnership with The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).

This 12-month project will commence in May 2016.


Project Aims

The aim of this project is to evaluate two types of HSI systems, i.e. passive and active, and their capability and applicability for the detection of oil spillages in ice-affected waters.


Why ITOPF funded the project

The detection and tracking of oil in ice is one of the major technological challenges facing the response industry. This one-year project will study the feasibility of using the emerging hyperspectral imaging (HSI) technology to detect oil in ice-affected waters. Recent studies have demonstrated HSI's capability in detecting oil in open water and remote areas, but its application in ice-covered regions has not been fully explored. This project has well defined scope of study and dissemination strategy.


Dr Phil Hwang (principal investigator in sea ice remote sensing at SAMS), Prof Stephen Marshall (Director of the University of Strathclyde Hyperspectral Imaging Centre) and Adam Polak (researcher and EngD student)

Who is the lead organisation

The lead organisation, i.e. Centre for Signal & Image Processing at University of Strathclyde, provides a platform for the development of tools, techniques and systems used for the acquisition, analysis and extraction of information, with extensive research concerning HSI.

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is Scotland's largest and oldest independent marine science organisation, dedicated to delivering marine science for a healthy and sustainable marine environment through research, education and engagement with society. SAMS has strong research interests in sea ice physics, biology and biochemistry in the Arctic regions.


Active HSI system with assisted split laser beam

What are the background and the objectives of this project?

HSI has recently undergone a rapid advance in terms of sensor technology as well as complex data processing algorithms. There has previously been some investigation of legacy HSI systems for the case of oil spill detection in ice-covered waters and also of multispectral capability on oil spills in open water (without ice). However, the capability (and limitations) of the most advanced HSI technologies has not been fully tested in field or lab environments. Previously, pioneering work of the lead organisation has demonstrated that it is possible to detect oil under ice using this technology. In this project, the detection limits in terms of the thickness of ice and density of oil, etc. will be fully evaluated and quantified. This will be carried out via extensive experiments using the facilities at SAMS followed by state of the art data processing. The evaluation will cover both active and passive systems in both the near and mid Infrared.