ECO-TS - Ecotechnologies & EcoServices

PROOF improvement of HNS maritime POLLution by airborne radar and optical facilities – POLLUPROOF





Submission summary

Maritime shipping activities are responsible for about 20% of the pollution at sea. The pollutants discharged accidentally or deliberately, can endanger the biodiversity and eco-balance of our oceans. Exhaust emissions and cargo mishaps associated with an increase in vessel traffic are sources of pollution which impact the marine environment (acidification, contamination of flora and fauna) and land (acid rain). This issue has become a priority at the national (Grenelle de la Mer) and regional (European - directives 2005/35 and 2005/33) levels as demonstrated by the implementation of several international conventions (e.g., OPRC-HNS Protocol, MARPOL). Obviously the removal or drastic reduction of pollution resulting from maritime activities is a desirable objective. The magnitude of the problem is highlighted by the quantity of goods transported by sea: of an estimated 8,000 million tonnes (Mt) of chemicals transported worldwide, 350 Mt are transported via European waterways. It is estimated that there are more than 100 incidents per year involving the illegal discharge of noxious liquid substances in these waters. For over 25 years, French Customs (DGDDI) have deployed aircraft equipped with remote sensing instruments (radar and scanner IR/UV), to successfully prosecute ships involved in oil spill incidents. The effectiveness of this policy has been demonstrated through a significant reduction in oil pollution in the waters under French jurisdiction (during the period between 2006 and 2012, the number of ships caught polluting was reduced by three-fold).

The POLLUPROOF project would enhance the capabilities of French Customs to detect, locate and classify pollutants (other than hydrocarbons) originating from ship emissions (including particulates) in order to collect evidence for the prosecution of offenders while ensuring an effective intervention in the case of accidental discharge at sea. The objectives of this project are: 1) verify the capability to detect, locate and classify at least 3 of the 6 most noxious liquid substances transported by sea in Europe, 2) achieve a reduction of spilled noxious liquid substances equivalent to the level for hydrocarbon emissions, and 3) develop a stronger policy to control the release of noxious gases within the sulfide emission control areas (SECA).

These objectives will be achieved by:

• Identification of radar (SAR/SLAR) and optical sensing (hyperspectral cameras) capabilities for detecting liquid pollutants at sea;
• Evaluating the complementarity of optical and radar information;
• Identification of gaseous discharges of engine emissions and liquid pollutants using hyperspectral analysis.

To accomplish these activities, POLLUPROOF project will analyze the needs of the French Customs regarding aerial detection and will proceed with:

• calibration of optical measurements on liquid pollutants in mesoscale (test-tank) experiments located at the Cedre;
• airborne measurements of sea spills using hyperspectral optical and radar sensors, following the test-tank analysis;
• algorithm development for detection, location and classification of pollutants. The consortium will then produce a data gathering evidence methodology.

French Customs staff will evaluate the effectiveness and applicability of these advances using a human-machine interface.
Communication of the POLLUPROOF project results will be made at the end of the project to all national and international authorities involved in marine environmental protection and counter-pollution (IMO, EMSA and European Union workshops, regional agreements).
All further actions will be implemented by a consortium whose members have a recognized and complementary expertise in the field of aerial detection and marine pollution such as ONERA, DGDDI, Cedre, CEPPOL, Agenium, AVDEF and DRDC. In addition to the consortium, Transport Canada (TC) will act as end-user and member of the steering committee.

Project coordination

Sébastien Angelliaume (Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ONERA Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales
DGDDI Direction générale des douanes et des droits indirects
AVDEF Aviation Défense Service
TC Tranports Canada
CEPPOL Marine Nationale Centre d'Expertises Pratiques de Lutte Antipollution
AIS AGENIUM Informatique et Systèmes

Help of the ANR 914,123 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2014 - 42 Months

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