The optimum operation of an airborne maritime surveillance system is more demanding than ever – requiring enhanced real-time data acquisition and software solutions.
The MEDUSA System integrates multiple remote sensors and mission system components into one user-friendly, network-based data acquisition and processing framework.
The entire MEDUSA System roughly comprises the following structural components:
• MEDUSA network
• MEDUSA sensors
• MEDUSA Software Suite

MEDUSA can be either operated stand-alone or as a surveillance subsystem of an integrated mission system via a customizable interface.



The All-in-One Airborne Surveillance Pod
The OctoPod is a unique all-in-one belly-mounted airborne surveillance pod jointly developed by AERODATA and its subsidiary OPTIMARE. It enables multi-sensor-based airborne surveillance operations while minimizing space consumption and costs for aircraft modification and certification. The OctoPod interfaces to the mission systems AeroMission® and MEDUSA®.
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• Airborne maritime surveillance
• Airborne oil spill remote sensing
• Search & Rescue
• Airborne land surveillance

Core Features
• Multi-Functional
Eight core functionalities based on eight selected sensors
Supports more than 20 different missions tasks
• Belly-Mounted
Low effort for aircraft modification & certification
Low impact on the aircraft´s cabin
• Multi-Platform
The vertical pod dimension stays within the ground clearances of the most prominent surveillance platforms
• Modular
Individually configurable from subset to full configuration
Low effort for aircraft reconfiguration
• Fully-Integrated
Full mission system integration with AeroMission® and MEDUSA®



Wide-swath radar imaging for airborne maritime observation

• Long-range detection of oil spills
• Detection of maritime targets
• Surveillance of fishing activities
• Detection & mapping of speed boat wakes

The OPTIMARE SLAR is a cloud-penetrating imaging X-band radar for day & night airborne maritime observation. The SLAR has a swath width of more than 120 kilometers and is used for mapping the sea surface with regard to oil spills, vessels, wakes and many more.
The lightweight OPTIMARE SLAR with its outstanding performance and its unique ultra-thin antenna design maintains a superior position and is the SLAR solution of choice for a modern airborne maritime surveillance system. The OPTIMARE SLAR is available both as stand-alone instrument and as integral part of the AERODATA/OPTIMARE OctoPod.


IR/UV LINE SCANNER (Example of IR/UV data of an oil spill)


• Detection of highly reflective features
• on the sea surface such as oil spills and
• biogenic surface films
• Highly resolved mapping of very thin and
• thick oil layers on the water surface
• Basic sensor for automatic creation of thematic maps of the oil spill scene
• (automated scene analysis)
• Imaging remote sensor for thermal mapping applications

Passive IR/UV remote sensing?of marine pollution using the IR/UVLS
IR/UV line scanners have been established as standard tools in airborne oil spill remote sensing. They are capable of simultaneously mapping the total extent of the oil spill (layer thickness > 0.01 micron) as well as areas of intermediate (2 to 70 micron) and large oil layer thickness (> 50 micron).
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Download Product Sheet
OPTIMARE developed a ruggedized, lightweight and modular IR/UV line scanner for airborne maritime surveillance. OPTIMARE‘s IR/UV Line Scanner is characterized by a unique optical design, an excellent maintainability and a broad operating temperature range.

IR/UV Control Unit


IR/UV Scan Head




• Airborne Remote Sensing in the
• visible wavelength range
• Detection of features on the sea surface
• such as oil spills, chemical plumes and
• biogenic slicks
• Acquisition of highly resolved geo-referenced RGB composite images
• Documentation of the oil spill scene

Visible remote sensing?of marine pollution using the VIS Line Scanner
VIS line scanners have been established as auxiliary tools for various airborne remote sensing applications, like for example airborne maritime surveillance. OPTIMARE‘s VIS Line Scanner is a ruggedized, lightweight remote sensor for earth observation at visible wavelengths.
In maritime surveillance, the system is used for acquisition of highly resolved geo-referenced Red/Green/Blue composite images. These images can be used for documentation and for more exact volume estimations based on oil
appearance codes

OPTIMARE SpillWatch!®


Automated non-contact oil spill detection and alarm



  • Real-time around-the-clock detection and control of oil spills for
    • Petrochemical industry, pipelines
    • Power plants
    • Harbors
    • Desalination, intake protection
    • Aquaculture
  • Fresh, brackish or saltwater environments
  • Highly effective LED-based excitation
  • Cost effective, low maintenance
  • Non-contact measurement
  • Flexible configuration of  data output
  • Multiple interfaces network connectivity
  • Ruggedized design (IP66)
2 li



• Autonomous operation
• Maximum operational depth of 6000 m
• Up to 3 years operating time (depends on sensor data rate) using easy-to-ship, non-hazardous alkaline batteries
• Long-term operation up to 6 years with lithium battery packs
• User-programmable release date and time
• Sensor communication via IrDA interface
• Data transmission via Iridium satellite network after surfacing; GPS positioning and tracking while drifting
• Can be used in a PopUp buoy array

Low-cost data recovery option for moored sensor systems
Recovery of oceanographic data from moored sensors using large research vessels is expensive and requires a high degree of logistics. PopUp buoys serve as data capsules and therefore allow for an efficient long-term deployment of sensors with regular data access during the deployment period.
They can receive and store data from moored sensors via wireless IrDA data transfer. After a given time or a specific command, the PopUps are individually released from the sensor–PopUp array and ascend to the sea surface from where data are transferred via Iridium communication to a land-base in the form of e-mails. The frequency of data transfer is user-defined.
Depending on the instrument or data collection system, the deployment of individual PopUp buoys or arrays of PopUp buoys in a network is possible.



• Robust against environmental conditions
• Automated processing of water samples
• Temperature controlled pre-bath
• Fully documented accuracy
• Latest technology applied
Main properties
The Precision Salinometer is robust against environmental conditions and can be used in the lab or at sea without compromising the precision of the measurement.
Automated processing of the water sample means that a button is pushed and the instrument continues the complete analyses without further interaction. Rinsing, repeated sampling, and flushing are performed autonomously. Main process-parameters like the number of rinsing cycles and repetitions of measurements are adjustable.
The temperature-controlled pre-bath is used to adjust the temperature of the water sample. Thus, the pre-bath prevents the transfer of heat into the main bath. It is not necessary to wait for a pre-adjustment of the temperature of the water samples. This guarantees rapid sample evaluation of water samples.
The accuracy of the measurement is fully documented and thereby proofed, not guessed. This means that the temperature of the main bath is recorded together with the conductivity of the water sample. The temperature of the main bath is determined with a precision better than one millikelvin. Temperature drifts of the main bath are continuously evaluated and the conductivity measurement pauses as soon as the drift gets too high for valid measurements.
The measurements and process controlling use technology which does not require manual range settings or manual standardization. The built-in processor controls all processes. The performance of these processes is documented for service purposes. Touch-screen and USB allow the communication with the Precision Salinometer.
The OPTIMARE Precision Salinometer is based on the development of Klaus Ohm, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. A combined work group consisting of OPTIMARE and Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (work group Dr. G. Budéus) developed the prototype.
The development was funded through EFRE of the EU and the Land Bremen according to grant
56012/2-Z by the BIS Bremerhaven Gesellschaft für Investionsförderung mbH.



Ultra-compact airborne laser fluorosensor for day & night oil spill classification

• Detection of laser-induced fluorescence of crude oils, petroleum products and water constituents
• Classification of crude oils, petroleum products and chemicals spilled at sea
• Detection of submerged contaminants
• Measurements of oil film thickness over very thin (optically thin) oil layers
• Hydrographic measurements (CDOM, turbidity, chlorophyll-a)
• Ultra-compact and ruggedized set-up, no internal cooling water

The ultra-compact LFS-P is OPTIMARE’s fourth generation laser fluorosensor (LFS) for airborne oil type classification.
Two decades of expertise as well as progress in opto-electronics and laser technology enabled OPTIMARE to develop a laser fluorosensor with roughly one third in size, weight, and power consumption compared to its predecessor, the LFS Light. The new LFS-P makes airborne pollution detection and classification possible from a huge variety of airborne platforms. The LFS-P has a built-in interface to OPTIMARE’s airborne maritime surveillance system MEDUSA.

Time-Resolved Laser Fluorosensor

Rear view of the TRLFS with connector panel.


Sensing principle of the nadir-looking TRLFS.


Temporal-spectral intensity profile of a return pulse measured by the 15-channel detection system.


• Airborne classification of crude oils, petroleum products and chemicals spilled at sea
• Time-resolved detection of laser-induced fluorescence of crude oils, petroleum products and water constituents
• Depth-resolved detection of crude oils or other fluorescent compounds in the water column
• Measurements of oil film thickness over very thin (optically thin) oil layers
• Distinction of naturally occuring biogenic surface films (slicks) from oil spills
• Hydrographic measurements
• (CDOM, turbidity, chlorophyll-a)
?Airborne classification of marine pollution

At present remote classification of crude oils, petroleum products and chemicals spilled at sea is only possible using laser fluorosensors.
Traditionally, laser fluorosensors are time-integrating sensors and therefore do not provide time/depth-resolved information on the water coloumn.
The Time-Resolved Laser Fluorosensor (TRLFS) adds time as an additional dimension to OPTIMARE‘s well-known series of laser fluorosensors.
For each of its 15 spectral channels the TRLFS records the time profile on a nanosecond timescale of the fluorescence return after pulsed laser excitation. On the one hand this allows for a more detailed evaluation of the target substance by means of a fluorescence decay time analysis. On the other hand it permits determination of the vertical distribution of fluorophores and attenuating substances in the water column. The TRLFS is a nadir-looking (non-scanning) fluorescence lidar. The instrument is compact and reliable and has especially been designed for space-saving installation. Moreover, it works at any lighting conditions. The instrument has especially been designed to be operated routinely as a part of modern
airborne maritime surveillance systems.

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