The Federal Oil Spill Team for Emergency Response Remote Sensing (FOSTERRS)

Monday, 15 December 2014
Tim Stough1, Cathleen E Jones1, Ira Leifer2, Francis E Lindsay3, John J Murray4, Ellen M Ramirez5, Anthony Salemi5 and Davida Streett5, (1)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, United States, (3)NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, United States, (4)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (5)National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, Silver Spring, MD, United States
Oil spills can cause enormous ecological and economic devastation, necessitating application of the best science and technology available, for which remote sensing plays a critical role in detection and monitoring of oil spills. The FOSTERRS interagency working group seeks to ensure that during an oil spill, remote sensing assets (satellite/aircraft) and analysis techniques are quickly, effectively and seamlessly available to oil spills responders. FOSTERRS enables cooperation between agencies with core environmental remote sensing assets and capabilities and academic and industry experts to act as an oil spill remote sensing information clearinghouse. The US government and its collaborators have a broad variety of aircraft and satellite sensors, imagery interrogation techniques and other technology that can provide indispensable remote sensing information to agencies, emergency responders and the public during an oil spill. Specifically, FOSTERRS will work to ensure that (1) suitable aircraft and satellite imagery and radar observations are quickly made available in a manner that can be integrated into oil spill detection and mitigation efforts, (2) existing imagery interrogation techniques are in the hands of those who will provide the 24 x 7 operational support and (3) efforts are made to develop new technology where the existing techniques do not provide oil spills responders with important information they need. The FOSTERRS mission goal places it in an ideal place for identification of critical technological needs, and identifying bottlenecks in technology acceptance.

The core FOSTERRS team incorporates representation for operations and science for agencies with relevant instrumental and platform assets (NASA, NOAA, USGS, NRL). FOSTERRS membership will open to a wide range of end-user agencies and planned observer status from industry and academic experts, and eventually international partners. Through these collaborations, FOSTERRS facilitates interagency and cooperation and communication to the larger end-user community on remote sensing and its best use.