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In recent decades SAR images have extensively been used for the observation and the characterization of the sea surface. A number of experiments have been carried out with airborne and spaceborne sensors. These show SAR's ability of detecting oil slicks and distinguishing them from similar oceanic features. A great amount of archived data is available in many spectral bands. In spite of this, nowadays C-band is the most widely used for the observation of the sea from a satellite. For this reason, in the last year we have developed OSAD (Oil Spill Automatic Detector), a system focusing on C-band. The availability of high resolution X-band images (supplied by COSMO-SkyMed satellites and managed by the Italian Space Agency) has encouraged further investigation aimed at extending the scope of this methodology to X band images with the final goal of employing it for detecting oil spills. X-SAR data (obtained from airplane multi-band experiments and from SIR-C X-SAR mission carried out by NASA's space shuttle in 1994) are analyzed in order to compare SAR images in different bands and spot locations contaminated by an oil slick. The COSMO- SkyMed constellation (supplying high spatial and temporal coverage of the Mediterranean basin) makes it possible to develop an operational oil spill survey system, particularly in protected areas and areas close to the coast.
Date of Conference: 23-28 July 2007