Recent theoretical work has shown conceptual feasibility for the airborne measurement of the absolute oil fluorescence spectral conversion efficiency (AOFSCE) of crude and refined petroleum oils on the ocean surface without a priori knowledge of the film thickness. Reported herein are airborne lidar oil spill experiments conducted to determine the practical feasibility of the AOFSCE computational model. The results of these investigations demonstrate that the AOFSCE model is practical over a considerable range of oil film thicknesses provided the fluorescence efficiency of the oil does not approach the minimum detection sensitivity limitations of the lidar system. Separate airborne lidar experiments to demonstrate measurement of the water column Raman conversion efficiency have also been conducted to ascertain the ultimate feasibility of converting such relative oil fluorescence to absolute values. The AOFSCE model shows excellent potential, however, further airborne water column Raman conversion efficiency experiments with improved temporal or depth-resolved waveform calibration and software deconvolution techniques are required for final feasibility determination.
F. E. Hoge and R. N. Swift, "Experimental feasibility of the airborne measurement of absolute oil fluorescence spectral conversion efficiency," Appl. Opt. 22, 37-47 (1983)