SIDARUS: Sea ice downstream services for Arctic and Antarctic Users and Stakeholders

To develop and implement a set of sea ice downstream services in the area of climate research, marine safety and environmental monitoring for stakeholders and users in the Arctic and Antarctic.


Specific objectives:

  1. Develop sea ice classification and iceberg detection using new high-resolution SAR images with different frequency and polarization, and implement a monitoring service based on SAR data from Sentinel-1
  2. Provide sea ice thickness data for thin ice (<≈ 0.5 m) using the new 1.4 GHz passive microwave data from SMOS, as a complement to the ice thickness data from CryoSat
  3. Collect and analyze data on sea ice thickness and other ice parameters data from airborne, in situ and underwater platform experiments in order to validate satellite retrievals and fill gaps in sea ice observations that satellite data cannot provide
  4. Develop and validate sea ice albedo retrieval from multi-spectral optical images, e.g MODIS on the EOS platforms and MERIS and AATSR on ENVISAT
  5. Provide integrated maps of marine mammal tracks from ARGOSS data and sea ice maps from satellite data
  6. Implement a high-resolution operational ice-ocean model in order to provide sea ice and iceberg forecasts on regional and local scale
  7. Demonstrate sea ice monitoring and forecasting services to user groups by integration of  observational products from several platforms and simulation/forecasting products from global and regional models using GIS and web technology
  8. Plan sustainable sea ice downstream services for GMES, consisting of both free-of-charge and commercial products

Project Summary

The demand for improved sea ice information in the Arctic and Antarctic by many user groups is growing as a result of climate change and its impact on environment and human activities. The presently observed reduction of the Arctic sea ice extent, in particular during the summer months and an increasing demand for natural resources are key mechanisms driving human activities in these areas. In Antarctic, ice discharge from several ice shelves is a significant climate indicator, leading to enhanced iceberg population in the Southern Ocean.  

SIDARUS concept diagram.SIDARUS concept diagram.SIDARUS will develop, validate and demonstrate five sea ice services using satellites as the major source of data. The services include:

  • high-resolution sea ice and iceberg mapping by SAR,
  • sea ice albedo from optical sensors,
  • sea ice thickness from satellite radar altimeter and passive microwave data,
  • ARGOS tracking of marine mammals combined with sea ice maps, and
  • ice forecasting based on numerical models and satellite data.

In addition to analysis of satellite earth observation data, the project will analyze in situ, airborne and under-ice data from previous and new field campaigns. These are essential data for validation of satellite retrievals. Data products with large or unknown accuracy are of limited values for most users.  It is therefore of high priority that data products from past, present and future satellites are validated for quality control and error estimation. SIDARUS will be implemented by a consortium of six partners all with long experience in observation of sea ice and icebergs and implementation of operational services.

Project Details
NERSC Principal Investigator: 
Stein Sandven
Coordinating Institute: 
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center
Project Status: