Herder Burner System Joint Industry Project

Project Number
Progress Date
Performing Activity
Principal Investigator
Scott Pegau
Contracting Agency
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Contract Award Value
Estimated Completion Date

BSEE will participate in a Joint Industry Project with the Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) and ExxonMobil to design, develop, and test a spill response system for a single manned helicopter and/or several robotic helicopters. This spill response system can jointly apply chemical herders to a spill and ignite the oil once it has been corralled. This project will

  1. Create a new rapid response tool that can address moderate-sized offshore spills that do not rely on vessel spill containment resources,
  2. Create a new aerial response tool that can address smaller localized spills close to a support vessel or platform without the risk of launching small boats into open seas or in ice,
  3. Expand the suite of available response options that addresses spills in open water and ice-covered waters.
Latest progress update

The subcontractor has recently fabricated and constructed the antenna, the gelled gasoline dispenser, trailer components, and hull testing on the water in a nearby lake. Large-scale burn testing of the unit is planned for late spring or early summer 2022. The contract is being modified with the objective to build an additional prototype remotely operated surface vehicle (ROSV) that includes the following capabilities: 1) An integrated oil slick thickness detection system; 2) A flexible system (e.g., articulating arm with universal data interface and power) to mount and deploy instruments above or below water; and 3) A Volatile Organic Compound sensing system.

In Progress
Peer Review Status