Decision making for activities in ice-covered oceans can be improved by an increased level of information. The current potential of available remote sensing products is far from being exploited due to limited usability for non-experts. Main usability aspects are data unification, automated processing and ordering, early availability, smaller data packages and improved visualization functions. The OSSI (=On Site Sea-ice Information) data stream was developed to address these issues. OSSI is characterized by 100% automation, a modular structure designed for implementation of any data product, data compression and a "with one order many data" principle. Improvement of the availability of information needed for navigation or other activities in ice covered areas can be achieved for some remote sensing data by the usage of single swath data in comparison to daily composites. For instance, swath sea-ice concentration data is capable of visualizing sub-daily variations in the sea-ice cover, such as tidal effects or changes in ice concentration in highly variable ice-edge zones. Furthermore, swath data is made available within 2 hours of acquisition; whereas daily composites are sent on board with a more than 24 hour delay.

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