e-Navigation in Arctic Conditions: Transmitting High Resolution Ice Routes in First-year Ice
Paper in proceedings, 2012
A long time ago navigation was done solely by experience: the knowledge was in the head of local pilots. Through the centuries a symbolic system of buoys, cairns and charts developed: knowledge placed in the world, to paraphrase Donald Norman (1990). But Arctic navigation now poses a challenge that will need new solutions. Buoys cannot be stationed in ice as they will be swept away or pushed under. The ice sheet is a shifting, dynamic landscape with few landmarks. Further: in open water the buoy’s function is to warn for stationary shallows, in ice there is the additional need to guide trough passable leads or broken ice channels that move, open and close with the wind and currents. How can e-Navigation tools like Virtual AtoNs assist in Arctic navigation?
In this paper findings from a study onboard a Swedish icebreaker in the one-year ice of the Bay of Bothnia are presented as well as proposals for new e-Navigation services to help improve efficiency of ice navigation. Dynamic “ice routes”, sent from icebreakers to other ships entering into the ice will facilitate traffic management in the ice. Transmitting fuel consumption as well as speed for ships in the ice sheet will create a useful indicator of ice conditions. Using updated satellite photos of the ice sheet as underlay in ECDIS, will facilitate ice navigation.