Real-Time Detection and Classification of Oil

Real-time identification of oil category and type (crude oil, hydraulic oil etc) on the spot, with no samples or lab analysis required.

As oil is intrinsically fluorescent and emits light in the blue-green spectral range when illuminated by UV light it is easily distinguished from other substances in the water. Ocean Visual’s sensors detect and differentiate between various organic matter in the sea, such as hydrocarbons, algae, CDOM, etc. 


Ocean Visuals offer OWL™ LiDAR sensor systems for real-time detection and classification of oil and organics like algae in the sea. The senor systems provide real-time data gathering with best-in-class photonics sensory and contextualize the data from the air, on the surface and subsea to extract insights.

The suite of OWL™ sensors can detect hydrocarbon molecules down to part-per-million level, ppm. From the air and above the water surface, AIR OWL™, ELF OWL™ and SEA OWL™ sensors can detect oil molecules 3 meter down into the water column.

OWL™ sensors use Hyper-spectral Laser-Induced Fluorescence LiDAR lasers to excite the hydrocarbon molecules that creates a unique spectrum for that particular measurement sample. The sample may then be matched against a library of known oil type spectral samples, enabling real-time classification of that particular oil type sample. OWL™ sensors operate in the invisible spectrum of ultra-violet light and operating them is eye-safe.

For more information about Ocean Visuals, please contact us at


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