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OSRR-1051-Tagging of Oil Under Ice for Future Recovery

Project Initiation Date
Performing Activity
URS Group, Inc.
Principal Investigator
Mr. Ben Schreib
Estimated Completion Date

The goal of this project is to develop innovative, cost effective, and robust tagging devices and an automatic tracking system for use in tracking spilled oil under, or encapsulated within ice. This will be accomplished via the following key novel developments:

Implementing an innovative, multi-faceted pinging lamb wave communication system to use in an underwater acoustic identification (UWID) tag. Develop a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based GPS/satellite transponder with a lamb wave detector tag that is ruggedized for the Arctic environment and for a variety of deployment options including air drops. Adaptive power management algorithms in conjunction with interfaced sensors to automatically stay dormant, when needed, to conserve power. Employ an adaptive system level approach, along with an innovative packaging, material and coating design that will mitigate the adverse effects of snow buildup and ice formation on the wireless links.

Latest progress update

Environmental testing of the prototype took place in January 2016 at the US Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in New Hampshire. Further Arctic testing took place near Barrow, Alaska in March 2016. Additionally, the ice spike technology and deployment method were tested at the US Navy's ICEX 2016. Data from the tests are currently being analyzed and results are expected in the near future.

As of the date of this summary, the project is progressing on schedule and within budget.