The benefits of using satellite imagery in arctic maritime operations are well known. Synthetic Aperture Radar and optical imagery from polar orbiting satellites can provide valuable information about sea ice and presence of icebergs both on a local and regional scale. The sea ice information extracted from satellite imagery is used together with weather data for vessel navigation in or near the ice or for increased safety and reduced risk during critical operations.
Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) has ordering, downlink and processing capabilities for all the commercial and free SAR satellites in orbit today. SAR satellite imagery from these sources can, in addition to be used for detection and monitoring of sea ice, also be used for large scale environmental monitoring (oil spill detection) and increased maritime domain awareness (vessel detection). StormGeo is a leading weather risk provider for operations in Arctic, and has a strong focus on delivering weather decision support to marine operations.
For the end-user performing ice analysis, satellite imagery can be used in addition to information such as local weather forecasts and ice information extracted from external sources. For efficient ordering of satellite imagery in ice management operations, it is important that the end-user have access to satellite tasking information such as potential temporal and spatial coverage, tasking deadlines and order status. In addition, the end-user must be able to access the relevant data as fast as possible after satellite acquisition.
KSAT and StormGeo have in cooperation with Viking Supply Ships developed an end-to-end service integrating relevant ice-information and interfaces for satellite ordering, imagery access and weather information. The service is accessed through the StormGeo GUI, "Vortex," which serves as a robust and powerful tool for information access and ice management analysis.
The service development has been done in the MULDIARCOS (Multi-mission Data and Information Services for Arctic Operations) project, which has been partly funded by ESA under the Integrated Application Promotion program.