Navigating Arctic waters typically involves following established routes through heavily ice-infested waters, however, ice maps can quickly become outdated in the rapidly changing conditions of the Arctic, and the most direct route or a hasty decision to reroute is not always the safest or most efficient path. Understanding current ice conditions and making informed decisions with accurate ice forecasts enables safe alternate routes around heavily iced areas, resulting in a lower risk of hull damage, and lower fuel consumption, maintenance, and crew costs.
This is an example of an ice chart that can be produced from RADARSAT-2
broad-area monitoring data. RADARSAT-2’s C-band dual polarized images
provide the best ice discrimination and feature classification data available
for the production of ice charts.
In the Arctic, dynamic sea ice conditions that include ice pressure, ice ridging and rubble fields, limited visibility due to limited daylight and rapidly changing weather conditions, and limited communications capabilities present significant risks to vessels and their crews. Navigators need accurate, timely sea ice information in order to make informed operational decisions, however this requirement can be defeated by limited visibility, the limited range of ship-based ice radar systems, and very low bandwidth communication ship to shore radio and data links available north of the Arctic Circle.
MDA IceView™ service overcomes these challenges by providing near-real time satellite imagery over specified operational areas. Compressed products are easy to transfer over limited bandwidth communication channels, yet maintain the detail required by navigators. MDA ice information products are fully compatible with commercial ice navigation systems, such as IceNav and Narwhal, to help make Arctic navigation safer, faster, and less expensive. With the power of MDA ice navigation services, users can find the optimal route with access to near-real- time information.