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Spill Response


We can't get to large marine oil spills with the right equipment in time to gain control.  

Deepwater Horizon spill response (PHYS)

Oil spreads quickly on water because of sea currents and wind. For example, the Exxon Valdez spill was 5 miles long and 3 to 5 miles wide within 12 hours of the tankers grounding, out of control long before appreciable response effort had begun. 


Deploy enough unmanned first-response equipment by aircraft to limit spill growth. Quickly. Several flights from various locations may be required, but travelling to spill sites by ship can take a very long time in comparison. If a spill occurs far from an equipped marine base it might be days before full response is in place. 

Aircraft deployed systems offer the only hope of achieving a rapid and scalable response to spills. 

With sizeable quantities of response equipment in place and working to limit the spread of oil, responders will have a greater chance collecting and removing more oil from the environment when they arrive on scene in force.

Navy Special Warfare Maritime Craft Aerial Delivery System (USAF)

In 2010 the USAF airdropped over a million pounds of cargo a week in Afganistan. When delivery speed and accessibility are important, air deployment becomes a valuable tool. Speed and response scale are critical in oil spill response.


Create a global first-response network capable of putting the right equipment in the water before spills can grow out of control. Tankers and offshore oil production are the major spill sources. In both cases, resources for handling large spill events are usually many hours away. 

Aircraft can travel thousands of miles in hours. Ships take much longer to cover the same distance.
Global shipping map (NCEAS)

The entire coastal area of North America, roughly 220,000 km is accessible within a few hours from less than a dozen airbases. Similar response coverage with ships alone is unrealistic. 

Countries in Europe and Asia with high shipping traffic and spill risk, and those more isolated such as Australia and New Zealand may be covered from a few airbases. 


Air Deployed Unmanned Oil Spill Response Systems (USRV) can be delivered practically anywhere day or night. Aircraft response to oil spills offers a chance to reduce spread and limit impact. By moving massive amounts of equipment into action quickly, spilled oil has less chance of spreading or impacting sensitive coastal areas. 

Infrastructure for oil spill response is expensive. Resources tend to be concentrated in areas of greatest risk, and transportation hubs for mobilization to spill sites. In the case of large spills, it takes time to assemble equipment and personnel for the response. 

The aircraft deployed spill response systems IDS Offshore is creating will augment existing infrastructure by providing a rapid and highly-scalable response capability.

IDS Offshore air deployed response vessel rendering

Response Ready USRV modules compatible with existing transport aircraft systems are stored at key locations, ready-to-load for deployment to spill locations, day or night, anywhere. Modules may also be stored on-site in high-risk areas for autonomous launch during emergencies.

Speed Air-deployment systems for front-line military operations put required equipment and resources where needed, quickly. Using these same techniques it is possible to place more oil-spill response equipment into action, more quickly than previously imaginable.

Scale & Flexibility With multiple USRV in various configurations stationed at key air bases, overwhelming multi-layered containment becomes possible. USRV configurations will include deep sea at-source containment, coastal barrier containment and fresh or inland waterway containment.

Continental Response Network Based at strategic locations, the IDS Oil Spill Response system forms a coastal safety net to provide a national or continental network of first response oil spill containment technology. Using existing naval and/or coast guard facilities, along with commercial locations, the IDS system offers wide area mitigation to significantly reduce ecological damage and economic costs of oil spill incidents.

IDS Offshore air deployed spill response animation

Subpages (2): USRV-B USRV-C