The product is aimed at reducing the damage to marine ecosystems after an oil-spill has occurred by optimising the process of oil spill containment and clearance.
This will be done in two steps:
1) The oil spill is contained through smart trajectory generation augmented with image processing algorithms.
2) The second aspect consists of creating a grid mission from the boundary that is obtained using the drone. Once a grid is created, a team of drones will start deploying our absorbent 'Spill-Sorb'.
Each drone is assigned a particular area for spraying. Obstacle avoidance using ultrasonic sensors has been implemented to avoid any collisions between drones and to keep any humans safe.
The drone prototype has been customized and has a funnel attached to it to deploy Spill-Sorb.
The funnel material is lightweight, durable and has a payload capacity of up to 7kg.
Spill-Sorb been chosen as an absorbent because It is an all-natural, 100 per cent organic, lab-tested, field proven, industrial absorbent that is economical, efficient, non-toxic, non-leaching and in its natural state is already biodegraded. The inherent capillary action of the activated peat provides a powerful wicking action and encapsulates oils, solvents, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides and all other organic chemicals on contact.
To tackle exceptionally large oil-spills in the ocean we have created an oil absorbing motorized pad that consists of Spill-Sorb stored in layers. These pads will work along the drones so that the time required for the spill clearance can be reduced.
The dimensions of our oil absorbing pad are 75cm in length, 45cm in width and 10cm in thickness with a conical front so that it reduces the resistance due to water and it is easy to navigate. It will be semi-autonomous but can also be controlled by the same transmitter to control our drone. There is a shelled section in the aft of the pad which houses all our electrical components. It consists of an on-board Arduino microprocessor which will be controlling 2 motors on either end which will drive the 2 propellers and control the speed. A servo motor is installed which will be controlling the rudder to give directions.
It also has a main hollow section cut throughout the thickness of the pad which has been designed with certain grooves for housing our Spill-Sorb material. The dimensions of this section are 55cm in length, 35cm in width and 10cm in thickness. There will be alternating layers of Spill-Sorb sandwiched between layers of wire mesh. The oil will be entering from the 3 horizontal slits provided in the front right up to the end of the grooves provided to increase the contact surface area between the oil and absorbent.