The general aim of this project, co-financed by Directorate-General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Comission, is to join forces to make available to European Civil Protection a fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) with operational capability to intervene against oil spills in European Seas using new cooperative multivehicle robotic technologies.
Surface oil is not the only effect of an oil spills. Underwater oil plumes can come from bottom leaks and from surface patches forming subsurface plumes as recently been brought into the public eye during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident. This approach will allow us to use relatively lowcost standard sonar and oil-in water sensors, with novel advanced algorithms to get the most out these devices. The distributed intelligence of these devices across the spill will then be able to build up a highly accurate and dynamic image of the spill. The robotic system will also be able to self-organise to improve the monitoring of the oil spill. Ultimately, this cooperating multivehicle robotic technology will allow a cheap, flexible, expandable, precise and rapid decision support system for Civil Protection decision makers, improving the capacity of responding to these events.