Digital Arctic Shipping – New Data Products and Visualisation Services

Digital Arctic Shipping – New Data Products and Visualisation Services

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The Arctic is undergoing the most rapid changes in the climate system worldwide, demonstrated by the thinning and reduction of sea ice, the melting of ice sheets and glaciers, thawing of permafrost, and an increased possibility for extreme weather events and other hazards. While the role of these Arctic changes in increasing risks of extreme weather events remains strongly debated, these interlinked processes are expected to increase the chance of natural hazards connected to erosion, unstable sea ice conditions and unexpected occurrence of icebergs. Such rapid and hard to predict changes pose a significant risk for shipping activities in this region, whether it be cargo, fisheries or tourism. Therefore, improved access to new and customised data products from innovative combinations of available in situ measurements, remote sensing imagery and forecasting models is critical to further develop safe and sustainable Arctic shipping.

The overall objective of the Digital Arctic Shipping project is to develop a suite of data products in collaboration with Arctic shipping companies and local authorities and to demonstrate the use of these products on vessels traveling in ice infested areas. This includes using drone mounted sensors custom-built for Arctic operations, in combination with near real-time data from satellites, and automatic identification of ice dynamics patterns (divergence, convergence). Examples of products include maps of ice types, ridges, leads and motion, which are all essential parameters for navigation in sea ice. Products will be transmitted to vessels using best available satellite communication networks and used together with data collected onboard (e.g. Automated Weather Stations (AWS)) and data supplied by other actors (e.g. Automatic Identification System (AIS)).

Tom Rune Lauknes, The ku-band radar provides valuable information about ice drift and ice conditions., Cirfa 7343, ,

Tom Rune Lauknes

The ku-band radar provides valuable information about ice drift and ice conditions.


Tom Rune Lauknes

Senior Researcher - Tromsø

+47 918 58 817

Project facts


Digital Arctic Shipping – New data products and visualisation services




01.04.20 - 31.03.23



Research areas

Research group


Nansen Senter for Miljø og Fjernmåling

Project members

Torill Hamre
Stein Sandven
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