Detection of floating oil is a crucial response function for all marine oil spills. Modern methods depend heavily on satellite remote sensing. Florida State University scientists are using artificial intelligence to develop a semi-automated oil detection system for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) using microwave imagery.
Dr. Oscar Garcia-Pineda, a research faculty member in the department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science, received a three year, $220,000 grant from NOAA to implement his oil spill detection algorithm as part of the NOAA response operation team.
“As any emergency response operation, we have to stay ahead of the game, and this system will aid our Coast Guard and NOAA for rapid identification of possible threats from accidental oil discharges in our coastal and marine resources,” Garcia said. “I have worked for several years with Dr. Ian MacDonald developing image processing algorithms for detection of oil slicks with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites. Our algorithm has been selected by NOAA to be implemented as part of their operational system. This system will offer the public near-real time data for detection of floating anomalies imaged by SAR satellite data.”