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Five seas of Russia: radar satellite monitoring

By [email protected] - 20th January 2009 - 10:50

From December 15 to 27, 2008 ScanEx RDC specialists carried out a program of satellite radar monitoring for the Russian EMERCOM, aimed at ship navigation assessment and detection of oil spills on the surface of the five Russian seas (Barents, Okhotsk, Japan, Caspian and Black seas).
Human induced pollutions in Eastern Bosphorus Strait near Vladivostov, Sea of Japan (outlined in red), 16.12.2008, RADARSAT-1 (CSA, MDA, Scanex, 2008)During this period two ScanExâs ground receiving stations in Moscow and Magadan were capturing the radar data from Radarsat-1 (Canada) and Envisat-1 (ESA) satellites in different imaging modes, both high and middle resolution with the scene size from 50х50 to 500х500 km2. Processed satellite data was supplied to the end user throughout Russian Regions in near real-time via âKosmosnimki â Seas of Russiaâ geoportal in free and restricted access modes. The main customers of data describing offshore zone situation are the National Center for Crisis Management of the Ministry of Emergencies (Emercom) and regional Russian Emercom centers. Within the two-week satellite monitoring period 37 images have been acquired, processed and analyzed. Water area oil pollution monitoring resultsOil slicks (24 on 11 images) of different size and origin have been detected during monitoring (oil spills from vessels, washouts with river flow, industrial and foul water wastes, oil leeks from oil platforms). The biggest oil pollution area covering over 20 km2 was registered on December 20 and 23, 2008 in the Caspian Sea at the Apsheron peninsular within the territory of the âOil Rocksâ oil field (area of responsibility of Azerbaijan).On the Sea of Japan the images of the Eastern Bosphorus acquired on December 16 and 20 revealed the anthropogenic pollution area of over 2.5 km2 due to washouts from Ulysses Bay, and most likely due to construction activities on the Russky Island. A series of the Sea of Okhotsk images (December 18-25) enabled to detect oil pollutions, primarily caused by river runoffs and industrial and foul water wastes. On December 21 several oily spots of ship origin were detected. The maximum acreage of pollution amounted to 1 km2.On the surface of the Black Sea a number of oil spills from ships were detected on December 18 along the waterway to the port of Novorossiysk not exceeding 1-4 km2 related to the ship navigation routes. According to Novorossiysk port administration an investigation was initiated based on the obtained images to detected ships that caused such pollutions. In the Barents Sea, polluted areas could not be detected due to strong winds during the monitoring period. As a result of radar imagery potential areas with high probability of water area pollution detection were verified. The hazard areas are:- Eastern Bosphorus Strait and its bays near Vladivostok (Sea of Japan);- Aniva gulf near the Korsakov settlement (South Sakhalin, Sea of Okhotsk);- Intensive navigation routes and waterway to the port of Novorossiysk (Black Sea);- âOil Rocksâ field on the Apsheron peninsular (Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea)Ships navigation monitoring resultsShipping situation, defined based on satellite imagery under the Five Seas Monitoring Project, and the one, delivered through the ships location control system of the RF Ministry of Transportation (ESIMO), were compared at the National Center for Crisis Management. Main results of the shipping situation comparative analysis:â satellite-based radar images contain a more comprehensive and unbiased information about the number and location of ships than the control system, where only ships flying the Russian flag are displayed;â a complete and independent shipping situation control system requires a joint application of the satellite radar imagery results (being in the stand-along mode it does not allow to correctly identify ships) and the additional information taken from the systems of automatic ships identification, ships navigation control systems, etc. Such a complex system will enable to detect injured, damaged, illegal and poaching vessels, where radio-systems of automatic identification are not operational for different reasons;â combination of independent radar monitoring and automatic ships identification systems will enable to perform operational search for and rescue of damaged vessels. Ice situation monitoring resultsOne of the five seas monitoring tasks was the survey of ice cover in the Russian water areas. Ice buildups in the Gulf of Peter the Great near Vladivostok, at the eastern coast of Sakhalin and the Tatar Strait, as well as in northern part of the Caspian Sea were registered during the imaging. Regular ice-breaker ships escorting started through the Caspian channel that may use radar images as a reference to route the ship convoys.A series of performed imagery first of all enables to assess the dynamics of ice cover buildup.SummaryDuring the two-week monitoring of the Russian five seas from December 15 through 27, 2008 a set of radar images indicating the ships location and human induced contamination areas, including oil pollution, were piled up in one information database.It was the first time that such large scale operational services of satellite imagery were delivered to the user in our country.As a result of the implementation of the Five Russian Seas Monitoring Project a technology of all-weather satellite-based ecological and shipping situation monitoring was created and tested with near real-time data delivery to end-users within 1-2 hours after imaging.âIt is important to work out a system of information integration into the control and decision-making systems of Emercom and other agenciesâ, - said ScanEx Vice-President Olga Gershenzon.Technology of operational satellite-based monitoring of ecological and shipping situation can be quickly adapted to the tasks of different agencies and private customers. In particular, the developed technology can be in demand among oil companies, developing Russian offshore oil fields.

Author: ScanEx

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