Maritime ice navigation supported by satellite observations
Research Project , 2015

A major concern for ice navigation is the constantly changing sea ice conditions, where leads may open and close within hours. Navigable thin ice may also be replaced by impenetrable barriers of thick ice or fields of ice ridges. It is therefore necessary to have access to accurate and updated sea ice information to assist ships in finding the most environmental and cost efficient routes.

The only practically possible way to monitor the sea ice conditions over large regions is by satellite observations. Presence of clouds and fog may obscure the sea ice margin and prevent observations with optical sensors, while passive microwave sensors and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) are not hindered by clouds and do not require daylight. The majority of operational sea ice mapping is therefore based on satellite images from passive microwave radiometers or SAR. Passive microwave radiometers provide large spatial coverage and frequent updates while SAR images give a significantly finer spatial resolution.

In the Radar Remote Sensing group at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences algorithms for retrieval of sea ice drift and sea ice concentration from SAR data have been developed. The aim of the proposed postdoc project is to improve these algorithms and combine this information with information about ice type and wind conditions.


Leif Eriksson (contact)

Microwave and Optical Remote Sensing

Anders Berg

Microwave and Optical Remote Sensing

Mikael Hägg

Shipping and Marine Technology



Funding Chalmers participation during 2015

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure


Areas of Advance

More information

Latest update