January 28, 2011
For the first time, Barcelona World Race officials are utilizing sophisticated satellite data, reconstructed and analyzed by a team of experts at C-CORE, to monitor iceberg activity in the Southern Ocean.
In the past, skippers sailed “blind” through the southern ocean as there was little conventional shipping traffic travelling through this area and satellites of the time only made visible or infra-red “pictures” available. These images were often useless due to the dominant cloud cover prevalent in this part of the world.
Utilizing multiply special-request images obtained from the European Space Agency satellites, C-CORE experts analyzed and simplified the data and concluded that there was a real threat from a very large iceberg. This iceberg had just “broken-up”, resulting in multiple icebergs of more than 4 kilometres, dozens of icebergs of “a few” hundred metres, and hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller pieces.
The resulting ice field would have been almost certain to have presented a great danger for the fleet of the Barcelona World Race. Polar View’s iceberg monitoring services will be instrumental in reducing this risk and supporting race officials in directing competitors safely through the course.