Image Analysis Ice Charts
The Canadian Ice Service acquires Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite imagery in order to have data available for the provision of ice information. Upon request of specific clients, Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery will be analysed in more detail than for the daily ice charts and these image analysis usually available to the public. The area covered by the image analysis coincides with an area related to the satellite path. The path of the satellite changes each day so the chart area shifts from one day to the next. The usual width of the satellite data collection for ice information is about 500 kilometres. At the Canadian Ice Service, we use 100 metre resolution.
When analysing the satellite imagery, the analyst takes into consideration other data such as optical satellite imagery and visual observations from ship and aircraft. The analysis of these images is particularly challenging in conditions such as when seas are rough or if water is on the ice either from melt or rainfall.
Ice conditions are described using the International Standard Ice Code. The code describes the ice in terms of total and partial concentrations, the stages of development and form of the four main ice types present.
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