Offshore hydrocarbon drilling (oil, gas) in northern regions requires the monitoring of ice-covered waters and icebergs. Estimation of the ice coverage in the Far North and Arctic region is extremely important for all types of work – drilling, shipping, marine navigation, etc. Analysis and processing of the ERS data is the only method that can be used to assess the ice coverage, due to the continuous measurment of parameters.
Data with low spatial resolution show the ice coverage of a sea or a region in general; data with medium spatial resolution are used for less vast territories. The most precise ultra-high resolution data is necessary for oil&gas production areas monitoring. Satellite imagery must be operatively collected for these areas, so that will help to prevent oil platforms damage caused by icebergs and ice compression.

After getting all necessary images specialists interpret them in order to identify important information about the condition of the ice coverage: distribution of ice, types of ice and its characteristics. Specialists receive images from satellites every day so it is possible to control the ice situation on a regular basis. The main aim of the satellity imagery interpretation is to identify and delimit zones of floating (drift) ice and fixed (fast) ice.

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