Objectives of the service
To provide a fast Integrated Situational Awareness Service using space derived data and integrating it with other information sources and delivered through low bandwidth satellite communications rapidly and directly to the point of need. The user community being and not exclusive to, Arctic oil and gas, shipping and tourism industries.
Users and their needs
The activities undertaken in this study are expected to have an impact on any industries operating in the Arctic environment:
- Commercial Shipping Companies
- Oil and Gas operators
- Mining Companies
- Arctic Tourism Companies
- Environmental Organisations
Service/ system concept
- Situational awareness alerts
- Situational awareness information layers
- Situational awareness in-situ data
Space Added Value
Satellite Earth Observation data (COSMO-SkyMed & Sentinel-1 primarily) were identified as the EO assets for use in the service and were included in the Proof of Concept. Regarding satellite communications, the Arctic region necessitates the use of Low-Earth Orbiting systems for communication and data delivery since geostationary satellite communications systems cannot provide coverage to the far North. The project concentrated on the use of VSAT specifically Iridium OpenPort/Pilot and this was used during the Proof of Concept to demonstrate the system capabilities. Satellite AIS was a furher satellite system used in the project and which would form a key component of the future service.
The development of situational awareness data from space and in-situ derived sources for maritime activities has resulted in the establishment of a number of services including oil slick detection from radar and AIS ship tracking. These are some of the more mature services compared to others still in research and development phase such as ice movement and thickness mapping. The benefits will be realised by overcoming the challenge of integrating these services and delivering on a user friendly platform into the Arctic environment.
The main feature is the development of an Integrated Situational Awareness Service that delivers Geo-Information layers to a variety of industries operating in the Arctic environment.
The delivery of the layers will operate over the low data transfer bandwidths experienced in the Arctic. Extensive end user engagement activities are being undertaken to understand the problems faced in the Arctic and confirm what Geo-Information layers are required. These may include the following data layers from satellite imagery and other sources depending on user feedback: weather, met ocean, AIS, ice extent/movement, oil slick locations.
The key issues addressed in the project include:
- The integration and supply of a wide variety of different Geo-information layers in near real time (where applicable) through an easy to access portal
- Overcoming the difficulty of data delivery in remote locations where Satellite Communication bandwidths are low.
Complete. Following the completion of the user requirements review, the state of the art analysis, the economic/non-economic viability and the definition of the integrated service, the project concluded its Proof of Concept and defined the roadmap to a future sustainable service. The roadmap identified a number of critical steps that would need to be taken to make a demonstration phase project possible. Work on these steps is on-going.