We are happy to have contributed to an interesting environmental monitoring project.
The research program focuses on the detection of metals present in marine water near oil/gas extraction platforms in the Adriatic Sea. Currently, some of these infrastructures are still operational while others await potential conversion for alternative uses.
Whatever their current status or future destination, we developed an automatic system capable of detecting whether any sea pollution around the platforms exists. The recent test of the AUV-UpH20 has demonstrated that metal concentrations can be monitored by installing a micro-chemical laboratory on an AUV. The system is able to acquire seawater samples at various depths during navigation around platforms and analyze them in real-time in an autonomous way.
In case of a concentration anomaly, the system triggers an alarm so that subsequent sampling and analyses can be performed in the supposedly critical area to verify metal presence (in this case, with intervention of personnel).
Special thanks go to the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security (formerly Ministry of Economic Development) for supporting the initiative and to ENI for providing logistic assistance.