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Herder Burner System Joint Industry Project

Office/Division Program
Project Number
Research Performing Activity
Prince William Sound Oil Spill Research Institute
Research Principal Investigator
Scott Pegau
Research Contract Award Value

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

Create a new rapid response tool that can address moderate-sized offshore spills that do not rely on vessel spill containment resources,
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,
Expand the suite of available response options that addresses spills in open water and ice-covered waters.

Latest progress update

Work on a remote sensing package to determine oil slick thickness, and sense volatile organic compounds is underway as is a flexible system to deploy sensing instrumentation both above and below water. The herder/ignition instrumentation will be tested and demonstrated in late spring/early summer 2023. The herder/ignition package will be demonstrated at the Canadian Multi-partner Research Initiative Offshore Burn Experiments (MOBE) slated for August 2023.