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28.9.2020: Over the past decades, the State of Bremen has become the hub of the international aerospace industry. In the Hanseatic city, established manufacturers meet renowned research institutes to join forces and explore the limits of what is conceivable and feasible. The growing aerospace industry relies on strong partners with innovative ideas across all sectors, such as Drift + Noise Polar Services from Bremen.
Navigating a ship safely and quickly through the ice with the help of space data: this is where Drift + Noise Polar Services comes into play. To find the right way in polar regions, it is not enough to rely on a good sight alone. In the infinity of the white expanses, captains encounter constantly changing ice fields, impenetrable fog and sudden changes in the weather. Traditionally, so-called ice pilots – experienced ship pilots – are responsible for compiling the necessary chart material and keeping it up to date. A tedious and in many cases unsatisfactory (manual) work. Depending on the respective region there is often hardly any reliable, up-to-date information available. In addition, there are sometimes problems with the transfer of sea ice data, which in turn can impair both qualits and precision [of the charts].
Satellite date to navigate through the ice is automated and always up-to-date
This is where the automated Drift+Noise Polar Service system can help. It searches for and compiles the relevant satellite data, bundles relevant information, processes it according to requirements and keeps it constantly up-to-date. In this way, high-resolution, up-to-date ice charts are available at all times to ships sailing around the polar caps.
This “all-round service” helps to prevent accidents and reduce wear and tear on the ships. This saves time and fuel – which in turn saves money and the environment! An impressive example is the use of the Drift+Noise system on the icebreaker “Polarstern”: At that time, a measuring station could only be reached by travelling through the ice, and the experienced captain had planned four days for the voyage. Thanks to the use of the drift+noise data, this time could be reduced by half and the destination was reached after only two days.
Background: About Drift+Noise Polar Services GmbH
Drift+Noise Polar Services GmbH was founded in 2014 by three employees of the Bremerhaven-based Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). The current founding team, consisting of Dr. Lasse Rabenstein, Dr. Paul Cochrane, Dr. Panagioitis Kountouris and Matthias Verbeke, covers competences in the fields of polar research, satellite remote sensing, software development and IT entrepreneurship.
The company is currently developing a new digital service called IcySea, which will provide operators active in polar waters with up-to-date operational ice information. This information is compiled using satellite information, model calculations, technologies from polar research, geophysics and remote sensing, and enables users to make considerable economic and ecological savings on their routes through the ice. The company is supported by the ESA Business Incubator Northern Germany. The start-up’s customers include the icebreakers “Polarstern” (AWI) and “Aurora Australis” (Australian Antarctic Division), Hapag Lloyd Cruises and marine technology organisations such as Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA).