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Summary of Proposal OCE0470

TitleDeveloping and validating sea ice products over the Barents and Kara Seas using TerraSAR-X images
Investigator Mäkynen, Marko - Finnish Meteorological Institute, Marine Research
Team Member
Researcher Similä, Markku - Finnish Institute of Marine Research, Ice research
Researcher Karvonen, Juha - Finnish Institute of Marine Research, Ice research
Head of Ice Reseach Seinä, Ari - Finnish Institute of Marine Research, Ice research
Professor Pulliainen, Jouni - Finnish Meteorological Institute, Arctic Research Centre
Professor Hallikainen, Martti - Helsinki University of Technology, Radio Science and Engineering

With growing activities in the Barents and Kara Seas, due to the operating oil and gas fields as well as the prolongation of shipping season, there is a high request for new, better and user-friendly cryospheric information products and services. There are also requirements for better estimates of snow cover properties over the Arctic Sea ice.

The project consortium aims to develop following operational sea ice and snow products (deliverables) for the Barents and Kara Seas: (1) sea ice type classification chart, (2) level ice thickness chart, and (3) snow depth over sea ice chart. These products will be based on the application of thermodynamic snow/ice model and on the optimized use of several satellite data sources: C- and X-band SAR images, scatterometer data, radiometer data and spectrometer data. The novel feature in the products will be the use of snow/sea ice thermodynamic model together with the multisensor approach. Specifically, we will utilize the thermodynamic model based snow and ice thickness information in the satellite data interpretation. Some SAR-based sea ice mapping methods originally developed for the Baltic Sea will be modified and developed suitable for the Arctic ice conditions. The reference products will be the operatively available coarse resolution sea ice and snow products retrieved from radiometer, scatterometer and spectrometer data.

During the development of the products in-situ measurements in 2009 and 2010, including ship-borne laser profilometer data, and fine resolution X-band SAR data will act as validation data. The field observations will be made during by AARI and Aker Arctic Inc.

The consortium will collaborate with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute with complementary research tasks, data exchange, workshops and a visiting scientists programme. We will co-operate also with the Canadian Ice Service to obtain additional validation of level ice thickness chart in the Arctic conditions, more specifically in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

The key operators in the area, and potential End-Users in the future, as well as the international community will be informed about the developed sea ice products in several ways through direct contacts to operators, international workshops and scientific publications. In addition, development of a service concept and the identification of the service provider will be conducted. Service provider could act as a versatile sea ice and snow information producer and contact point as well for the Finnish as for international companies operating in these sea areas.

The developed sea ice products are fully in line with Kopernikus Core/Down Stream services.

Satellite data:
ENVISAT ASAR C-band images in different modes will be acquired through the through CAT-1 project. Historical RADARSAT-1 data will be likely obtained from Canadian Space Agency.
QuikSCAT and MetOp ASCAT scatterometer, and AMSR-E radiometer data are freely available through web-based services. MODIS and AVHRR spectrometer data are received by FMI.
TerraSAR-X data: In the project we will use HH-polarized ScanSAR mode images, as large as possible area coverage is needed for sea ice monitoring.

The project is funded mainly by the participating institutes and by Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES).

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