3.5 Arctic environmental monitoring and prediction

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 2:30 PM
602/603 (Washington State Convention Center)
Steve R. Shelton, Raytheon Company, Aurora, CO; and T. M. Raglin

Over the past several decades, significant environmental changes in the Arctic region have been observed and measured, including a decrease in multi-year ice. An ice-diminished Arctic region opens up shorter routes for commercial shipping; greater access to gas, oil, and seabed mineral resources; and expanded commercial fishing opportunities. For these reasons, human activity and interest in the area is increasing, and there is a growing awareness of the strategic importance of this new frontier. Indicators of measured change in the region include increased air and sea temperatures, decreased sea ice extent, degraded permafrost, reduced glacial coverage, increased atmospheric water vapor, and decreased snow cover. As human activity in the Arctic region increases, there will be a greater need for reliable and relevant situational awareness to help make decisions. Raytheon Company is leveraging our many years of experience in remote sensing and environmental monitoring to provide such situational awareness and decision support. This capability utilizes environmental data obtained from a suite of remote sensors (satellites, radars), autonomous sensors (data buoys, unmanned vehicles), and manned sensors (shipboard, coastal observing stations) and integrates computer-based ocean and atmospheric models with geophysical data points to provide the user with an accurate near real time graphical display of a specific Arctic location for a given date and time. The capability also monitors and evaluates multiple environmental factors to provide trending, analysis, prediction, and decision support. Raytheon is currently testing these concepts in an operational environment and will share the results of these tests at AMS 2011.

Keywords: Arctic, Sea ice, Monitoring, Prediction, Environment, Situational Awareness, Decision Support

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