Operational software system

Operational software system for ice management during specialized operations in the Arctic area


Some Arctic projects, e.g. deep-sea drillings, have high demands on keeping the vessel in one certain position. Deep sea drilling requires high precision positioning and local ice drift forecasts to be able to minimize ship drift from a given position. In August 2004 SMHI and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat participated in the high Arctic drilling project ACEX on the Lomonosov ridge and a pioneer software system were used to support the crucial ice management around the drilling ship.

The purpose of this project is to further develop the computerized system, IceMS, to be used in connection with sea ice management. The system should be used for strategic and tactical decisions and preferably it would be utilized in real-time navigation and positioning for continuous monitoring of ice conditions around the ship. The result of the project is a software system to integrate satellite image, information on ice floes and ship position data together with a local ice drift forecasting model. 


New ice drift forecast models are developed by SMHI. The software system is developed by Carmenta AB in cooperation with Akac Inc., a company dedicated to arctic marine research, development and services, in order to make the program support actual workflow in operational situations. 

Expected results

The software system has potential to be a useful tool for ice management in general, taken into account exploration of new resources in the Arctic. Examples are new gas findings in Barents Sea, geological surveys and transportation along the Northern Sea Route. In addition the tool can be seen as a prototype for next generation expert tool for icebreakers in the Baltic. The uniqueness of the product in comparison to what is available on the market are dedicated functions and workflow support in combination with fast algorithms for large data sets as SAR imagery, real-time operations and high geometrical precision.


Carmenta AB: Tomas Jansson, tomas.jansson(a)carmenta.se
SMHI: Karin Borenäs, karin.borenas(a)smhi.se

Senast uppdaterad: 25 maj 2009