Drift+Noise Polar Services is currently working the European Space Agency to develop its new product:  PRIIMA.  PRIIMA is capable of giving accurate predictive imagery for sea ice drift, necessary for commercial navigation in the Arctic Circle.


A high resolution satellite image is taken from space.  Data points on the picture are loaded into a vector X.  Weather and prediction models are then used to determine where the ice will be in a few days.  A linear transformation is carried out and the new location X’ is determined, X = T X’.  The image is then “morphed” and shows where the ice will be in 1 to 3 days.  Click on the image below to see how it works.

I spoke to Lasse Rabenstein, Managing Director, at the Arctic Technology Conference in Houston this week.  He states, “The accelerated Arctic sea ice loss leads to an increased vessel traffic in that region. A large fraction of that traffic is oil and gas industry related, but other user groups, such as the expedition cruise or fishing industry increasingly contribute to that traffic. All ships navigating in Arctic waters need to comply with the Polar Code, which makes appropriate ice information on board mandatory.”


Rabenstein continues, “PRIIMA bridges the gap between coarse resolution ice forecasts and the need for a higher resolution forecasted product. In recent test cases, promising results show that the PRIIMA processing flow is able to produce visualized and trustworthy ice forecasts with the resolution of a satellite.”

Lasse Rabenstein

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