Satellite and sensor monitoring of ice conditions

Communities who live in particularly cold and icy regions have a hard time monitoring whether roads and other ways of travel are safe to traverse at different times of the day. This causes traffic accidents, fatalities, and economical and real time danger to the communities dealing with ever changing weather.
People Impacted
$ 37B
Potential Funding
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the problem
Nature and Context

Local populations that work with increasingly unpredictable ice conditions as Arctic winters get warmer need help monitoring and detecting how ice is forming in areas of commuting. By imaging and monitoring how and when ice forms, scientists can help predict when conditions are unsafe. This collection of data on weather conditions can also be used to track the effects of climate change.

Ideas Description

Developed by Canadian universities, the Nunatsiavut and federal governments and private research companies, SmartICE is a monitoring system for ice conditions. Before the ice freezes in November, technicians deploy buoys with anchors into the sea, which then stay in ice as it freezes around them. Sensors on each device relay information about ice thickness and snow cover to a central database via satellite, together with satellites images which are then analyzed to create thematic maps with categories like rough ice, double ice (when ice freezes over meltwater) and smooth ice. The maps will be accessible online and through social media, giving people real-time information about routes during the most dangerous times of year when ice freezes and melts.

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