Main activities

Main activities

Thin ice thickness from thermal satellite imagery

NR will provide a fully automatic processing chain producing a high resolution (1km) product, with estimate of the thickness of thin sea ice to be integrated in the Polar Ice framework. This will product is based on thermal image data from the VIIRS sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite.  

Estimating the ice thickness with thermal data depends on proper modelling of the heat balance on the ice surface. We use a model by Yu & Rothrock (1996) where the individual heat fluxes are described. One of these, the conductive heat flux describing the heat transfer from the water to the ice surface, is inversely proportional to the sea ice thickness. This allows us to set up an equation which may be solved with respect to the ice thickness. In order to do this, we need the surface temperature of the ice, which is retrieved from the thermal VIIRS imagery.

Dialogue with users

Within the project we will together with our partners identify possible gaps in existing technology, and establish the needs of the potential end users. The final sea ice service may be used by a wide range of users, from coast guards, cruise ships, fisheries, shipping and oil & gas companies, to climate and weather prediction. These users will depend on the delivered products for different things, and therefore have very different requirements for the products. In order to develop a service which is as useful as possible to as large number of users as possible, it is necessary to talk with a lot of potential end users and to understand what they need and how they would use these products. 

As the service is being developed, there will be constant dialogue with the end-users, where they will be able to test demo-versions of the products in development, and give valuable feedback. This assures that the service will be built around realistic user scenarios.




More about the project