Canadian technology firm Rutter has completed a collaborative initiative with Statoil Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to improve ice detection for harsh environment offshore oil and gas operations.
The collaboration resulted in the development of new remote sensing technology used in the automatic detection and tracking of sea ice. The resulting analysis features integrated into Rutter’s sigma S6 systems are capable of providing automatic identification, outlining, and drift tracking of ice floes; pans; ridges; icebergs embedded in pack ice; and open water leads.
“The technology that was developed has resulted in a large step forward in ice management capabilities,” said Fraser Edison, President and CEO of Rutter. “The additions to the sigma S6 system will allow the automatic identification of ice characteristics leading to improved operational safety and efficiency for operations in ice infested areas.” The technology was recently field-tested in trials performed by Statoil and Viking Supply Ships in the Baltic Sea.
sigma S6 Ice Navigator is already in use on a large number of icebreakers, research ships, rigs and government vessels worldwide. Rutter says that the system can reliably detect bergy bits and growlers that can significantly damage a vessel or platform. It is capable of functioning in a wide range of sea states, weather and light conditions, and it connects to most commercially available marine radars, allowing shipowners to use their existing assets to improve ice detection.