Dickins Associates leading oil in ice projectNews // April 27, 2012
Dickins Associates in Canada is leading a Joint Industry Project, one of the latest of a series of programmes aimed at developing an operational ground penetrating radar (GPR) that can detect oil trapped underneath or within sea ice from a low-level helicopter.
Whereas previous phases utilized commercially-available impulse radars operating at a single frequency, the latest programme is focused on designing, building and testing an entirely new system that is optimized for an airborne application.
Following initial testing of the first prototype in March 2011, the new radar was redesigned and improved by the engineering team at Boise State University over the course of the last year.
A second test programme at the US Army Cold Regions Research Environmental Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, NH was scheduled for February 2012.
A successful outcome would lead to actual flight tests over thick sea ice (without oil) at Prudhoe Bay later this winter. Participants are: Alaska Clean Seas, ExxonMobil, Shell, Statoil, ConocoPhillips and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).