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Scientists Harness Virtual Reality to Aid Oil Spill Cleanup Effort
We’ve looked at a number of possible cleanup solutions for the disastrous oil spill off the Gulf Coast — hair, underwater domes, and bacteria, to name a few. Now scientists are testing out virtual reality as a way to predict where the spill is going and determine the best way to clean it up. The Comprehensive Deepwater Oil and Gas Blowout Model ( CDOG) uses known information about deepwater spills to predict where the massive Gulf oil spill will disperse.
CDOG was designed by Poojitha Yapa, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Clarkson University. Users of the program can predict where oil will disperse and can even add virtual chemicals to see if they will spread the oil around or thin the slick. This spill is more difficult than most to predict, according to Yapa. But so far, CDOG predictions have proven accurate.
CDOG isn’t the only virtual reality method being used on the oil spill. Scientists at NOAA are using ocean current and wind direction models and simulations from the Naval Oceanographic Office and Texas A&M University to make effective containment plans. Of course, no virtual reality program can stop the spill — that’s up to the innovators on the ground.
Image Credits: CDOG
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