Sea Ice Monitoring

Reliable Detection and Tracking of Sea Ice

Information provided by Airbus Defence and Space Sea Ice Monitoring Services supports effective ship routing, safe navigation, search-and-rescue operations and protection of oil and gas or wind energy offshore platforms in the Arctic.

Timely information on sea ice is essential for the safety of any type of marine activities in the polar regions (e.g. shipping and offshore operations). Additionally, such data is important for scientific and regulatory users in the areas of climate change monitoring, sustainable resource management and environmental protection.

Near-Real-Time Ice Information

TerraSAR-X radar image of Iceberg B17B drifting between Antarctica and Australia

TerraSAR-X radar image of Iceberg B17B drifting between Antarctica and Australia

Utilising TerraSAR-X satellite data,  Airbus Defence and Space provides a dependable and fast Sea Ice Monitoring Service that supports the entire chain from planning to operation of activities in ice-infested waters.

High-resolution SAR data, which can be reliably acquired independent of weather and lighting conditions, facilitates detection and tracking of even small ice objects such as icebergs and floes. Traffic-hindering objects such as ice ridges can be identified and detailed information on ice properties is provided.

Key Benefits
  • Delivery of iceberg information in near-real time down to t~ 15 min
  • Detailed information on iceberg/ice floe location, drift, ice edge and ice concentration
  • Fully automated iceberg detection from high-resolution TerraSAR-X data
  • Additional visual interpretation/verification optional

Fully automated processing provides information on iceberg location and size in near-real time down to ~ 15 min after image acquisition. Combined with a visual interpretation component operated by Airbus Defence and Space’s ice experts, further information on ice parameters and drift can also be provided.

The Sea Ice Monitoring Service can be enhanced by ship detection and tracking  as well as oil spill detection information .

Sea Ice Monitoring