Related Research Areas
Water & Energy Cycles, Weather

Currently, there are no efforts to monitor oil slicks operationally from space. Agencies around the Gulf respond to chance sightings, almost exclusively. The Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, NASA/Langley Research Center, and NOAA/STAR propose to pool their collective expertise with passive and active space borne sensors, and with spaceborne oil detection to develop automated and interactive techniques to produce the basis of an operational oil monitoring system for the Gulf of Mexico. The sensors to be employed are the AQUA/Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Cloud Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP), the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and LANDSAT. To identify the slicks several techniques such as neural network classifiers, edge detectors, polygon algorithms, and sensor fusion algorithms will be tested. Once the best techniques have been demonstrated, the generation of the oil products will be transitioned to the NOAA Satellite Analyses Branch (SAB) in Camp Springs, Maryland. The SAB will mass produce maps for the NOAA/Emergency Response Division (ERD) to be used in oil spill emergency response. The maps will also be assimilated into the General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME), to forecast oil trajectories. This transition path will be highly effective during and after hurricanes when the agencies ERD supports in the Gulf of Mexico may be relocated to areas with restricted access to information. By transferring our products to a location outside of the danger zone we ensure that any agency in the Gulf can access oil spill information in a timely and effective manner. The proposed application addresses NASA’s Applied Science Program areas of: Disaster Management, Weather, Water Resources and Climate change. It aligns well with the goals of two partners of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance: The Habitat Conservation and Restoration Team, and the Coastal Community Resilience Team.

Project PI: Sonia Gallegos/Naval Research Laboratory

Naval Research Laboratory Ocean Sciences Branch, Oceanography Division Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 USA

Phone: (228)688-4867

Fax: (228)688-4149



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011


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