Here is how US Coast Guard C-27J Spartan helped avert environmental disaster

C27J Spartan Coast Guard
US Coast Guard C-27J Spartan.

Among the many capabilities boasted by the C-27J Spartan, one of the main ones is to help avoid environmental disasters. It is well known to the US Coast Guard who, thanks to a Spartan, recently managed to contain the oil spill along the coast of Orange County, California.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a US Coast Guard C-27J Spartan began its flight along the Orange County coast on Tuesday to monitor the movement of oil. In the back of the plane with the cargo door open, two flight mechanics looked for oil sheens on the dark teal ocean. Since Saturday, when the spill from the Amplify Energy underwater oil pipeline was reported, the fixed-wing aircraft has flown daily, relaying information about the size and direction of the oil spill to a command center and to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier.

Since the environmental and atmospheric conditions do not always allow to identify the oil on sight, the aircraft was equipped with special systems. Strohmaier said the Coast Guard plane monitoring the oil’s movement is equipped with infrared equipment to help flight crews track it. The plane, he said, was designed to be used for various missions, including search and rescue, transporting resources to disaster zones and surveying oil spills.

The US Coast Guard, with the collaboration of the aerospace firm Leonardo, has equipped its aircraft with the Minotaur. The Minotaur is a complete, dedicated mission system with surface search radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) search sensors, a C4ISR suite (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), and bubble observer windows to allow the aircraft to discover, classify and identify maritime targets. In particular, the images and radar tracks from the onboard sensors can be sent to other Defense or Homeland Security Department users.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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