Rapid oil spill detection at sea by Drones – final leg of tests



The European URready4OS Project, which began in 2014 will conclude after the final testing of their new fleet of rapid oil spill detection drones.  Five drones comprising of both autonomous water vehicles and aerial drones are part of the experiment that is being coordinated by the Technical University of Cartagena.

Croatia, Spain and Portugal have provided drones for the experiment.  A team of several companies and 20 international researchers will be a part of the testing team.

The project aims at having an affordable, cost effective fleet of robots that will help the European Civil Protection Authorities to detect and respond to oil spills rapidly.

The final tests aim to create a mock oil spill using coloured fluids and monitor the robot’s efficiency. Javier Gilabert, coordinator for the project said that the current day technologies lack the capability to assess the size and scope of oil spills.  However, with the help of the sensors attached to the latest version of these robotic drones, it will be easy to detect underwater oil plumes at their source and respond with preparedness to mitigate damage along coastal regions.

The total project cost is projected at € 580,000 ($650,000) with 75% of funding provided by the European Commission.

The robotic fleet deployed for the tests will be maintained by the Project team.  The team hopes to be able to increase the fleet size in order to serve other EU countries as well.


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