Iceberg monitoring now easier and cheaper

Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North – LOOKNorth (CECR)


Drill rigs and transport vessels are among those that rely on satellite-based monitoring of ice conditions at sea. LOOKNorth, in collaboration with St. John's NL R&D corporation C-CORE, has developed a new tool for detecting icebergs and understanding regional ice conditions. Altimeter Ice Detection (AID) uses widely available, low-cost, current and archived radar altimeter data, enabling cost-effective monitoring over very large areas and reliable historical research over long periods. In 2013 for example, C-CORE used altimeter data to help the British Antarctic Survey understand iceberg conditions in an oil exploration area off the Falkland Islands.

The advantage of altimeter data is that we can analyze its extensive global archive spanning several decades and use current altimeters to view large areas, identifying targets to examine more closely with the synthetic aperture radar. This gives clients a very reliable historical record and savings of up to 90% for current monitoring. Desmond Power, VP Remote Sensing, C-CORE