Preparations by the Canadian Ice Service for SAR Constellations
Arkett, Matt1; Pestieau, Paul1; Zagon, Tom1; Cheng, Angela1; Pogson, Lynn1; Geldsetzer, Torsten2
1Canadian Ice Service - EC, CANADA; 2University of Calgary, CANADA
The Canadian Ice Service (CIS) has a long history of using C-Band SAR data to deliver sea ice information to its clients in the Canadian marine domain. The launch of RADARSAT-1 in 1995 provided CIS with an unparalleled data set, providing frequent cloud-free imagery with large aerial coverage. The RADARSAT-2 and Envisat ASAR missions have provided SAR data continuity for CIS, while also introducing dual-polarization imagery to our operational work flow. Next generation C-Band SAR satellites like Sentinel-1 and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) will further improve CIS' sea ice monitoring capabilities. The two Sentinel-1 satellites will give more frequent coverage over Canadian waters and in turn, will give the CIS an opportunity to develop new and innovative sea ice products. The RCM will be a three satellite constellation, offering improved coverage for its users coupled with the innovative compact polarimetry (CP) polarization choice for all beam modes. Preliminary analysis of simulated CP imagery has shown positive results for sea ice monitoring. The improved revisit provided by Sentinel-1 will permit the generation of frequent ice motion maps which will aid decision making for ice forecasting. These high resolution products will also be used to verify and enhance numerical sea ice models. Sentinel-1's high resolution Interferometric Wide Swath (IWS) mode looks extremely promising for automated iceberg detection and should provide an important information source for our iceberg monitoring program. Another important goal is to use the large volumes of SAR imagery afforded by these constellations to expand on Environment Canada’s Regional Ice Prediction System (RIPS), an automated system that produces sea ice analyses in North American waters 4 times daily,. This data assimilation system will provide an environment whereby imagery from numerous satellite sensors will be combined with a numerical ice model to prepare optimal and objective sea ice analyses and forecasts. These new high resolution analyses will also be used to initialize ice models in order to produce more accurate ice forecasts. This paper will discuss the pre-launch preparations planned by CIS that will enable us to adapt our operational programs to effectively use the earth observation capabilities of the new SAR constellations. In particular, we will identify the new application and product development CIS expects to achieve through the unique capabilities provided by these missions.