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Illegal Oil Spills From Ships: Monitoring By Remote Sensing

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the remote sensing technologies available and their current use, and offers views on what could be expected in the future, focusing on operational usability. Illegal discharges of oil from ships represent a major threat to the marine environment. Through integrated satellite and airborne surveillance, based on remote sensing techniques, most oil spills can be detected. This provides an overview of relevant remote-sensing technologies for oil-spill monitoring and methodologies to support clean-up operation and collecting evidence. SAR sensors, Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR), Infrared and Ultraviolet (IR/UV) scanner, Microwave Radiometer (MWR) are all the methods used to detect oil spills. The integrated remote-sensing capabilities from satellite and aircraft with their large sets of sensors allow efficient monitoring and detection of oil spills. With the CleanSeaNet service of the European Maritime Safety Agency, a harmonised pan-European system is in place which can efficiently identify possible polluters.

Keywords: CleanSeaNet; European Maritime Safety Agency; Illegal oil spills; SAR sensors; Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR)



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