Remote sensing satellites are an efficient and effective means of supporting Arctic oil and gas activities as they provide wide-area, high-frequency, all-weather day and night coverage of land and maritime areas, and deliver accurate, reliable navigation support and environmental reporting. In addition, they avoid the need to put people and equipment in harm’s way to collect vital information on Arctic conditions.
MDA built and operates RADARSAT-2, one of the world’s most capable radar imaging satellites, which was specifically designed for frequent imaging of the Arctic and polar region. RADARSAT-2 imagery is central to planning and operations support at high latitudes - it is used internationally for dependable navigation, sea ice monitoring, and sea ice encroachment monitoring.
Arctic conditions impose environmental and logistical challenges far beyond those experienced by oil and gas operators in other parts of the world. It is a remote region of low temperatures, seasonal darkness, high winds, and constantly moving sea ice. Reaching the region, in addition to navigating, building, maintaining operational infrastructure, presents enormous logistical challenges that require a high level of situational awareness to ensure safety.
From assessing seasonal operation windows for new Arctic offshore lease blocks, or determining the feasibility of transportation routes through ice-infested waters, MDA’s historical radar archive provides a continuous historical ice dataset from 1996 to present. MDA’s data archive provides historical information to analyze and assess the length of the open water season, the historical dates of ice break-up and freeze-up, and how annual variability affects the predictability of ice conditions. MDA’s team of experienced analysts can provide custom analysis and reporting over specific areas of interest to further mitigate risks to personnel, assets, and the environment.