Drift+Noise Polar Services: Ice mapping for ships and operators in polar regions

03/09/2018 3317 views 3 likes
ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Technology Transfer

The start-up company Drift+Noise Polar Services assists companies and organisations in the development of economic activities in ice-covered waters by providing ice maps for polar regions and on-demand ice consulting. Meet Drift+Noise Polar Services at ESA's Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions at IAC 2018.

The ice maps present tailored satellite information such as near-real-time radar images, sea-ice concentration or high resolution predictions of the ice situation. In contrast to other available products, these maps are delivered in near-real time (as fast as 2 hours after satellite recording), up to eight times a day (depending on the location) and are adapted for low bandwidth connections such as IRIDIUM.

Drift+Noise Polar Services was awarded for their near real time ice mapping
Drift+Noise Polar Services was awarded for their near real time ice mapping

Drift+Noise ice maps are fully automated and can be integrated on board with user friendly visualization systems. Information on the maps are highly actionable and support quick decision making on board to find best passages through or around the ice and to safely operate knowing the current and future ice conditions.

The operational ice maps system handles a big-data problem individual users would never solve manually as all input data streams are high velocity, with various formats, dimensionality, resolutions and projections. Output data for the user can be the processed satellite image but also parameters such as ice drift, ice age, ice deformation or position of leads.

Most important input data used are high resolution SAR data from Sentinel-1 satellites, weather mode data and AIS ship positions. However, various other Earth observation data can be included whether they are open data or commercial.

Sea-ice concentration map, near-real time SAR data and tracking ships and buoys
Sea-ice concentration map, near-real time SAR data and tracking ships and buoys

Drift+Noise Polar Services was founded in 2014 as a spin-off company of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). The mission of the company is to leverage technology from Earth observation, polar research and geophysics. The vision is to push the maritime industry forward to shipping 4.0 and to attach satellite and other environmental data to existing and emerging maritime information networks.

The company is involved in various projects with ESA, DLR and the AWI. It received the Helmholtz Enterprise funding in 2014, joined the DLR MARSAT project and was a Copernicus Masters finalist in 2016 and started the ESA kick-start activity PRIIMA (predictive ice images) in 2018. Reference customers are Hapag Lloyd cruises, the Australian Antarctic division, the Hamburg Ship model basin (HSVA) and various other smaller expedition cruise companies.

On board radar image, route through the dark and overlay with elevation model
On board radar image, route through the dark and overlay with elevation model

Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions at IAC 2018

ESA's Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Office (TTPO) with its ESA space solutions network presents 24 start-ups from Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia, 14 fostered at one of the ESA Business Incubation Centres – the ESA BICs, at the 69th International Astronautical Conference (IAC 2018) in Bremen, 1-5 October 2018.

The Start-up Space powered by ESA Space Solutions provides a look into great examples of aerospace technology systems and services developed by start-ups with visionary goals.

At pitching sessions on 2/10 and 4/10, the start-ups will present their business ideas and the Head of ESA TTPO Frank M. Salzgeber will present the potential of re-using already existing space technologies and ESA's Intellectual Properties as well as Europe's Earth observation and navigation services by start-ups and how their solutions can improve our lives here on Earth.

World's largest ecosystem for space-related entrepreneurship

ESA’s Technology Transfer and Business Incubation Programme Office (TTPO) operates the ‘ESA space solutions’ network of Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) and Technology Transfer Brokers offering complete access to all aspects of space-related innovation, technology and intellectual properties and is a gateway to ESA and European space research and developments.

Today, there are 20 ESA BICs in 17 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and UK – forming the largest ecosystem in the world for space-related entrepreneurship.

Over 650 start-ups have been fostered and another 150 new start-ups are taken in yearly at ESA BICs to be supported under the two-years business development boosting programme.

Visit “Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions”

Meet all the start-ups from 1 October until 5 October at the dedicated Start-ups Zone powered by ESA space solutions at IAC 2018 area at IAC 2018.

Drift+Noise Polar Services entrepreneurs will be at the Start-ups Zone at IAC 2018 from 1 October until 3 October noon, and be pitching their business 2 October. 

ESA BICs - 20 centres in 17 European countries
ESA BICs - 20 centres in 17 European countries