Ice intelligence retrieval by remote sensing - Possibilities and challenges in an operational setting
Detecting ice drift velocity when operating offshore in ice-covered waters is crucial during marine operations, as ice actions affect station keeping and ice management. Furthermore, other ice data/intelligence such as ice concentration and thickness are important parameters to determine ice resistance, evaluate performance of icebreakers and predict ice actions on structures. Different sensors are available and capable of providing ice intelligence; however, no single sensor is capable of providing all necessary ice intelligence alone. Thus, an operational scenario depends on combining ice intelligence from several sensors. Previous studies have assessed potential sensors that detect ice drift; however, the practical implications of applying these technologies in operational scenarios are often disregarded. This paper reviews the various sensors currently available for sensing ice drift and other ice intelligence, and their abilities to provide ice information for operational scenarios. The sensors satellite SAR, marine radars and optical cameras are assessed qualitatively in a case study. The study considers the scenarios of drilling and production of hydrocarbons at the Korpfjell prospect in the central eastern Barents Sea, where the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy recently awarded a license. The case study shows that during an operational scenario, ice intelligence must be provided by a combination of regional and local sensors. Furthermore, great potential exists to combine intelligence from different sensors to form an operational monitoring, detection and surveillance tool for operational decision support.
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