Tromsø (Norway), January 11, 2012Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) ConocoPhillips Company [NYSE:COP] and e-GEOS (ASI/Telespazio) have signed a contract for monitoring ice formation and movement throughout the 2011-12 winter season. The effort will make exclusive use of the unique capabilities of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed constellation of four VHR SAR satellites, owned by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and exploited commercially by e-GEOS, to provide coverage over the area of interest for the entirety of the season. The frequency and duration of the coverage will allow unprecedented detail on the evolution of sea ice conditions using high-resolution, X-band (9.6 GHz) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology.
By acquiring coverage for a full season with hundreds of SAR images, it will be possible for the first time to thoroughly analyze the patterns of ice formation, the characteristics of the ice under winter conditions, and the progression of the spring melt: how rapidly it occurs and the size and prevailing direction of the ice fragments.
The collaboration of KSAT, ConocoPhillips, and e-GEOS further exemplifies each company’s commitment to creating efficiencies and developing technologies to improve ice services in the Arctic.
“Satellite imagery with X-band SAR of ice in Arctic waters allows us to better detect, measure and track ice floes on a daily basis. In turn, it gives us better information of the size and movement of potential ice features, as well as increases our capability to forecast their trajectory”, say Khalid Soofi, Science Fellow, Remote Sensing, and Dom Berta, Manager Harsh Environment Technology, of ConocoPhillips Company.
“This new contract supports the position of KSAT as the lead provider of satellite-based services in the circumpolar Arctic region, where updated and reliable information about ice and ice conditions will become more and more important in the coming years”, says Jan Petter Pedersen, Vice President of KSAT.
“COSMO-SkyMed is showing all its potential in this highly demanding context of professional ice charting over the Arctic. The system is now adopted by industrial users that need reliable operational services in support of their field activities. Its unique revisit capability has demonstrated to be of paramount importance for surveillance operations, over marine areas as well as over land” says Marcello MARANESI, Chief Executive Officer of e-GEOS.
Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) is a world leading commercial satellite centre. Situated in Tromsø, Norway with ground stations in Tromsø, Svalbard, Dubai, Singapore, South Africa and the Antarctic, KSAT is ideally located for both Ground Network support and near real-time Earth Observation services. KSAT supports most of the commercial satellites in orbit and can provide timely imagery and derived information independent of satellite ownership. With a unique ground station network and experienced analysts, ‘near-real-time’ operational information can be provided within 30 minutes. KSAT’s multi-mission maritime monitoring services have been provided to coastguards, pollution-control authorities and oil companies since 1998. For more information, go to: www.ksat.no
ConocoPhillips is an integrated energy company with interests around the world. Headquartered in Houston, the company had approximately 29,700 employees, $155 billion of assets, and $247 billion of annualized revenues as of September 30, 2011. For more information, go to www.conocophillips.com.
e-GEOS is a joint venture of the Italian Space Agency (20%) and Telespazio (80%), a Finmeccanica/Thales company. With an overall revenue of about 80m€, and staff of 250 people, it provides a wide range of Geo-Information products, applications and services on the world-wide market, combining the unique capabilities of COSMO-SkyMed Constellation with other optical/radar satellite and aerial survey data. The COSMO-SkyMed Earth Observation Program of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Italian Ministry of Defence, based on a constellation of four VHR SAR satellites, provides all-weather, day and night, world-wide radar data acquisitions.