The oil and diesel industries are plagued by the inability to accurately discriminate oil on water because there is not a strong contrast between oil and water. Thermal infrared imaging is limited because it can only distinguish oil from water when there is a large thermal difference between the two. Thermal and visible imagers are also unable to distinguish oil from vegetation or sun glint on the water.
Even if the oil and water temperatures are the same, our polarization imager, Pyxis®, can detect oil on water up to 400% better than standard thermal imagery while seepage can be detected up to a kilometer away. These impressive features make Pyxis the perfect solution for leak and seep detection.
Santa Barbara Field Test
Following the Santa Barbara oil spill in 2015, oil is evident and detectable in an aerial survey using Pyxis, even after clean-up efforts. While thermal imagery requires some small thermal difference between the object (oil) and the background (water), polarization imagery has no such limitation.
Pyxis can capture thermal and polarization imagery. Our software experts have developed eTherm® to filter through the data and identify the things that matter most. Oil on water can be distinguished from land, sea kelp, and sun glint, or colorized for greater clarity.
Real-Time Seep and Leak Detection
- Up to 400% better identification of oil on water than thermal alone with no false alarms
- Distinguishes oil from seaweed and other debris
- Works both day and night
- Suitable for automated continuous monitoring, detection, and alarm
- Mitigates specularly reflected light (glint)
Pyxis is the industry’s first system to combine the power of polarization with standard thermal within a small form factor, making it the lowest SWaP-C polarization sensing thermal camera. Polarization provides the needed sensitivity for long-range oil detection with 400% improved contrast over standard thermal.
How it Works
The addition of polarization to standard thermal exploits geometry and material composition to improve contrast and detail. Pyxis is especially effective when thermal contrast is low or when a target becomes hidden in background clutter. Polarization Enhanced Imagers provide the ability to acquire and track targets from a multitude of platforms, as well as remotely identify disturbed earth, which assists in detecting manmade objects that are buried. Commercial and military applications for Pyxis include object detection, security, surveillance, facial recognition, autonomous vehicle navigation, and collision avoidance.