The Acoustic Slick Thickness ROV Assesses the Thickness of Oil Slicks

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - Mar 20, 2015
References: vims.edu & gizmag
Researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have developed a remotely operated vehicle that will enable easy and accurate assessment of the thickness of oil slicks. When an oil slick occurs, it's imperative that clean-up crews know the amount of oil that has been spilled, as this will determine the quantity of agents and materials used in the clean-up. The Acoustic Slick Thickness vehicle enables this by looking at the spill from above, unlike the conventional method where people in boats and aircraft assess the spill from above.

This vehicle moves underwater beneath oil slicks and uses sonic transducer technology to send sound waves up the underside of the slick before assessing the reflects to figure out the thickness of the slick. This technology could prove to be crucial in the assessment of future oil slicks, and is an important development given the havoc that oil slicks can wreak on the ecosystem.