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OCETRACK. Big data analysis

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[OceTrack]Commercial_sheet_UPM_EN(Innovatech) PDF

Software to extract the organization of ocean currents using  satelital data 

We propose a  software that use a global Lagrangian descriptor to locate the ocean structures that predict the movement of currents and particles such as pollutants. It has the capability of summarize gigabytes of satellite data in easy to interpretate pictures. In addition, OceTrack may be useful  in the following problems: weather forecast, the evolution of buoys, nutrients, heat or salinity concentration in the ocean, particle dynamics/dispersion in the atmosphere, micro-mixing devices, etc.

Technology Solution

Langragian, dynamics flowsThe software uses a Langrangian descriptor with the ability to provide a time dependent geometrical partition of the dynamics of a complex flow. It can be applied to arbitrarily time dependent flows and dynamical systems of arbitrary dimension. The descriptor locates zones of the flow such as vortices and eddies, and  has the capability to measure the time period in which particles are confined in the inner core of these structures.


“The descriptor shows the hidden skeleton of the ocean”


Market demands

  • Environment
    • The National Academy of Sciences of US in 2011 estimated that 1.7 to 8.8 million tons of oil are released into world's water every year. More than 70% of those are directly related to human activities.
    • About 680 thousand tons of oil were released during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and about 35-40% of that oil  is thought to have remained contained in the deep sea.
  • Safety
    • The most severe  reduction of faunal abundance and diversity extended to 3 km in all directions, covering an area of about 24 km^2. The moderate impact are reached about 148 km^2.
    • The recovery time for plankton last months, meanwhile beaches, exposed rocky shores or sheltered rocky shores lasts 1-3 years. Longer time is required for Saltmarsh ,3-5 years, and Mangroves more than 10 years. [no-for-profit organization ITOPF]
    • Greater effectiveness in oil removal tends to reduce enviromental damages and socio-economic impacts
Market potential

  • Environment
    • As per the Clean Water Act, BP may be imposed a penalty of $1,100 for each barrel of oil that leaked into the sea. Furthermore, the fine may be increased to $4,300 per barrel if BP is found to be guilty of gross negligence by the US court.
    • The oil companies move around 290 billons dollars.
  • Safety
    • Spending on Clean BP is about 14 billions dolars [reuters]
    • Greater effectiveness  in oil removal tends to reduce environmental damages and socioeconomic impacts.
    • The Cleaning Harbors companies move 7.28 billions dollars.
Competitive advantages

  • The software use an unique Lagrangian descriptor that extracts singular features of the velocity fields. It finds the hidden skeleton of the ocean currents and shows all the relevant information in one picture. The current tool used to tackle this problem, Lyapunov exponets, provides noisy results and only finds principal lines.
  • The sofwtware can be applied to arbitrarily time dependent flows.
  • Fast predictions in case of an oil spill
  • Summarize Gigas of data in one picture. 

Langragian, dynamics flows   Langragian, dynamics flows

“OceTrack finds the zones, such as vortices and currents with their boundaries, where the  pollutants are confined”


  • This work has been development in colaboration with Institute of Mathematical Sciences of CSIC, with  the Group of Fluids of ICMAT, headed by Ana M. Mancho. During the last 5 years they have participated in 8 projects financed by national and international organisms.
  • The group won in 2012 a competitive Severo Ochoa grant to study the earth sciences.
Development stage

  • Concept
  • R&D
  • Lab-Prototype
  • Industrial Prototype
  • Production

OceTrack Contact 

Carolina Mendoza, Ana M. Mancho

e: carolina.mendoza@upm.es

UPM  contact

Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Area

Centre of Support for Technological Innovation – UPM

e: innovacion.tecnologica@upm.es

S2i 2021 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
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