Airborne remote sensing for Deepwater Horizon oil spill emergency response

Airborne remote sensing for Deepwater Horizon oil spill emergency response

Imaging Spectrometry XV. Edited by Shen, Sylvia S.; Lewis, Paul E. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 7812, pp. 78120E-78120E-13 (2010).

On April 28, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology (ASPECT) aircraft was deployed to Gulfport, Mississippi to provide airborne remotely sensed air monitoring and situational awareness data and products in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. The ASPECT aircraft was released from service on August 9, 2010 after having flown over 75 missions that included over 250 hours of flight operation. ASPECT’s initial mission responsibility was to provide air quality monitoring (i.e., identification of vapor species) during various oil burning operations. The ASPECT airborne wide-area infrared remote sensing spectral data was used to evaluate the hazard potential of vapors being produced from open water oil burns near the Deepwater Horizon rig site. Other significant remote sensing data products and innovations included the development of an advanced capability to correctly identify, locate, characterize, and quantify surface oil that could reach beaches and wetland areas. This advanced identification product provided the Incident Command an improved capability to locate surface oil in order to improve the effectiveness of oil skimmer vessel recovery efforts directed by the US Coast Guard. This paper discusses the application of infrared spectroscopy and multispectral infrared imagery to address significant issues associated with this national crisis. More specifically, this paper addresses the airborne remote sensing capabilities, technology, and data analysis products developed specifically to optimize the resources and capabilities of the Deepwater Horizon Incident Command structure personnel and their remediation efforts.

DOI: 10.1117/12.863258

Read More or copy of full article: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010SPIE.7812E..10K

Unique Sensor Plane Maps Invisible Toxins for First Responders

A unique airborne emergency response tool, ASPECT is a Los Alamos/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency project that can put chemical and radiological mapping tools in the air over an accident scene. The name ASPECT is an acronym for Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology.

Update, Sept. 19, 2008: Flying over storm-damaged refineries and chemical factories, a twin-engine plane carrying the ASPECT (Airborne Spectral Photometric Environmental Collection Technology) system has been on duty throughout the recent hurricanes that have swept the Florida and Gulf Coast areas. ASPECT is a project of the U.S. U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys National Decontamination Team. Los Alamos National Laboratory leads a science and technology program supporting the EPA and the ASPECT aircraft.

Los Alamos Supports the U.S. EPA During an ASPECT Quick Reaction Deployment to the Marcus Oil Chemical Fire in Houston, Texas, 12/03/04

At 6 pm Central Time on Friday 12/03/04, the Marcus Oil and Chemical Plant located in southwest Houston, Texas was reported by plant personnel to be on fire.  The plant is a large manufacturer of a polyethylene wax that is used in a variety of consumer products.  Within 15 minutes, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to deploy the ASPECT aircraft from the Waxahachie, Texas hangar to support ground HazMat teams.  The focus of the deployment was to determine the threat of downwind chemical hazards at the site.  Initial observers at the site reported flames several hundred feet high.  The Houston Police and Fire Departments immediately evacuated a 4 square block area around the plant.

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