Research and Development



Environmental Site Characterization and Mapping of Oil/Gas Facilities Using a Multispectral Sensor Mounted on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)


            Project Summary

Environmental site characterization maps will be created to assist in assessing and monitoring the reclamation of oil and gas sites. The maps will be generated through use of discrete bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, which are converted to spectral radiance values, processed and optimized to reveal calibrated indicators specific to the environmental scientists' requirements.
The maps will consist of natural color and multispectral imagery and will document vegetation type and vigor; surface conditions such as bare areas, surface stoniness, soil moisture, and topography. Multispectral maps will be reproducible (i.e., free from subjective interpretation), and quantitatively expressed. The site characterization maps will make use of inherent benefits of UAV imaging, such as real-time data collection, georeferenced orthoimages and 3D elevation models. The proposed methodology is a derivative of established practices already in use with satellite based imagery.
Beyond generating site characterization maps, the project will investigate the feasibility of:
1.         Accurately mapping extent of contamination related to pipeline breaks, especially in inaccessible regions (e.g., muskeg, heavily forested)
2.         Detecting fugitive gas emissions from wellhead locations and buried landfills, either directly or by secondary indicators such as variation in vegetation growth patterns.
3.         Measuring soil conductivity values as may be expressed by variations in spectral radiance.  Anomalous soil conductivity can be an indicator of soil contamination related to oil/gas operations.


IRAP2016 Team Results Participants Schedule


This project is partially funded by National Research Council Canada.