Ohmsett's unique testing venue plays an essential role in developing and evaluating cutting-edge technologies. Through testing and research, developers and manufacturers can meet the various Technology Readiness Level (TRL) gates necessary to move from a prototype to a full-scale commercialized product.  

In the wave tank and laboratory environment, manufacturers can test the efficiency of new designs or quantify improvements to existing equipment against a wide range of controlled environmental conditions using oil with known characteristics and real-time data analysis.  They can learn more about their products, allowing them to redesign and develop more effective technology and procedures for responding to future oil spills. 

The facility also supports research projects to study oil behavior, pumping strategies, towing forces, oil/mineral aggregates, biofuels, remote sensors, submerged and sunken oil, and chemical dispersants, to name just a few. 

Current researchers have included government agencies, universities, private companies, and environmental research organizations.

Burning tongue in Ohmsett tank

Skimmers in oil


Our large test tank can accommodate full-size equipment, resulting in more accurate and reliable results while avoiding the need for scale models. And, unlike tests that use popcorn, oranges, or other biodegradable substitutes for oil, equipment testing at Ohmsett can be evaluated under authentic conditions using specified oil, including dielectric oils.

Our facility has proven to be ideal for testing and analyzing the practical effectiveness of equipment such as booms, skimmers, sorbents, temporary storage devices, pumping systems, remote sensing devices, unmanned underwater and surface vehicles, hydrokinetic energy systems, and much more. Ohmsett continually adapts to support industry research and testing needs by developing applicable testing environments. Examples of these capabilities include fire boom testing and in-situ burn equipment (without oil), dispersant-related evaluations, emulsion formation, and performance testing in broken ice. 

Ohmsett's objective experts are available to help manufacturers quantify improvements to their equipment, provide government regulators and oil spill response planners with data on how equipment may perform under certain environmental conditions, and provide potential equipment purchasers with non-biased test results to make informed decisions. 


Measurable Test Parameters

  • Absorbance
  • Droplet size distribution
  • Fluorescence
  • Meteorological data
  • Oil behavior
  • Oil viscosities
  • Oil-water ratios
  • Sea state (wave height, length, and period)
  • Tow speed
  • Volume of oil encountered and recovered
  • Water temperature and salinity
  • And more!


Sensors & Instrumentation

  • Acoustic doppler velocimeter
  • Acoustic ranging
  • Coulometric Karl Fischer titrator: Metrohm 917
  • Densiometer: D4 Mettler Toledo
  • Fluorometers: Chelsea UviLux CDOM, Sea-Bird SeaOWL UV-1 & Turner Cyclops 7F G/O
  • Interfacial/Surface Tensiometer: Fisher Model 20
  • Load & strain gauges
  • Oil content analyzer: Horiba OCMA-500
  • Particle size analyzers: Sequoia Scientific LISST 100X, LISST 200X, & LISST Black
  • pH/ion Meter: Metrohm 781
  • Pressure transducers
  • Remotely operated vehicles: Deep Trekker & Video Ray
  • Silhouette camera: SINTEF Towed SilCam
  • Surface thermal imaging
  • UV spectrophotometer: Scilogex UV1000
  • Viscometer: HAAKE VTiQ Air
  • Wave height altimeters & capacitance probes
In the Ohmsett lab

Equipment Testing

  • Booms
  • Dispersants
  • Fire-Resistant boom
  • Oil properties
  • Pumping systems
  • Remote sensing devices
  • Skimmers
  • Sorbents
  • Temporary storage devices
  • Unmanned underwater and surface vehicles
  • And more!


For more contact information visit the contact page