Ice draft and ice type derived from RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery and calibrated using Ice Profiling Sonar (IPS).

CHOIRS  Characterization of Hazardous Ocean Ice using RADARSAT and Ice Profiling Sonar

CHOIRS was a Canadian Space Agency sponsored project designed to take advantage of complementary technologies for the assessment of sea ice. The work was undertaken by ASL with contributions from the Canadian Ice Service, the National Research Council, and University of British Columbia.

ASL has a long history of providing accurate measurements of sea ice draft using its moored, upward-looking sonar (ULS) instrumentation, as well as recognized expertise in the field of remote sensing. The CHOIRS project offered an opportunity to marry these two technologies to provide a comprehensive view of sea ice, “from below” using sonar and “from above” using satellite.

Project services included :

  • Methods development to utilize the complementary data sources of satellite SAR and ULS,
  • Assessment of RADARSAT-based techniques for sea ice characterization, using ULS as validation data,
  • Development of improved RADARSAT-based techniques to enhance hazardous ice characterization, and
  • Demonstration of the application and its extension to future SAR missions – in particular, RCM compact polarimetry.

ASL Ice Studies

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Formosat-2 satellite image showing a large ice floe, overlaid with an ice draft profile from Ice Profiling Sonar.

Analysis of Ice, Metocean and Satellite Measurements in the North Caspian Sea

In 2013 ASL was contracted through KazEcoProject LLP to provide technical expertise and equipment to collect and analyze sea ice draft, keel depth and ice velocity data in the PEARLS lease block located in the northern Caspian Sea. To complement the field-based project, high resolution Formosat-2 satellite images and Cosmo SkyMed Synthetic Aperture Radar images were combined with the Ice Profiling Sonar (IPS) and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)data to describe ice floe behaviour, and to estimate the energetics associated with the larger floes.

Remote sensing services included :

  • Integration of satellite imagery with IPS and ADCP datasets
  • Interpretation of floe drift speed and direction from satellite, IPS and ADCP
  • Estimation of floe momentum and energy

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