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Ground Robotic Oil Spill Surveillance (GROSS) System for Early Detection of Oil Spills from Crude Oil Pipelines

O'tega Ejofodomi, Godswill Ofualagba


Crude oil spills have significant negative effects when they occur. Prompt detection of spills would lead to swift remediation, improvement in national economy, and a reduction in the damage to the environment. The Ground Robotic Oil Spill Surveillance (GROSS) System is a novel system for early detection of oil spills using small mobile robots. A single GROSS unit is a mechanized robot employed to patrol beside designated pipelines. Gas sensors detect the presence of oil spills as the unit moves beside the pipeline. Once a spill is detected, wireless communication between the GROSS unit and the surveillance team at the base station is achieved with the use of Xbee radios. An integrated camera module is used to take pictures of the spill site. These images and the GPS location of the spill are then transferred wirelessly to the base station to enable the surveillance team initiate established containment protocols. The GROSS system has been successfully tested on an underground crude oil pipeline in Nigeria. The system’s ability to provide continuous surveillance along crude oil pipelines and wireless transmission of spill GPS location and images gives it the ability to detect oil spills quickly and ensure prompt response by surveillance teams.


Crude Oil Spills, Automated Spill Detection, Robotics systems, Pipeline Surveillance, Oil Spill Detection.

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