Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
February 26, 2018

Ensuring Marine Safety with Innovative Solutions

Building upon the Technology Industry Summit held by the Provincial Government on Friday, the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, as well as Mark Browne, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, today toured C-CORE to view the progress of a project that will improve the detection of icebergs and ships in sea ice. The project contributes to the efforts of the Department of National Defence’s science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada, to fully exploit the capabilities of Canada’s upcoming RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) satellites for safety and security surveillance. 

The Provincial Government provided $150,000 in funding for ground-truth verification of ship and iceberg detections based on algorithms developed in this project.

Increased shipping activity in northern regions has increased the challenges associated with safety and surveillance in sea-ice prone waters. To help solve this issue, C-CORE is developing algorithms that utilize RCM satellites’ Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data to detect ships in the presence of sea ice and differentiate ships from other ship-like objects such as icebergs. In addition to near real-time ship detection for Canadian Forces, C-CORE plans to apply this technology as a cost effective solution to help the local offshore oil and gas industry monitor assets in sea ice.

C-CORE is a world leader in SAR-based monitoring of ice and icebergs in open water and is headquartered at the Memorial University Campus in St. John’s.

The Provincial Government, along with industry, have collaborated on a Technology Sector Work Plan, to maximize private sector job creation and economic growth as set out in The Way Forward.

“This innovative project further increases research and development capacity in remote sensing at C‑CORE through training of Highly Qualified Personnel and collaboration with industry. It delivers a cost effective solution that provides economic relevance to the marine and energy sectors, while aiding seafarers operating in areas in the north where sea ice is present. As we build and strengthen the Business Innovation Agenda to foster innovation in our province, Newfoundland and Labrador is earning a reputation as a leader in innovative technology applications and solutions.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

‎"The work being done at C-CORE in the detection of icebergs in sea ice is critical to ice management the offshore oil and gas industry. The safety of those working offshore is of paramount importance.‎"
Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister of Natural Resources

“The province’s funding has allowed us to perform extensive ground-truthing in the same timeframe that the satellite images were captured. With help from PAL Aerospace, our scientists were able to collect more iceberg observations in a single flight than we would otherwise be able to collect in a whole season. Our DRDC partners were extremely pleased with this approach; the funding provided by the Province has been crucial to the success of this project.”
Desmond Power

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Provincial Government Working with Technology Sector to Outline Path for Further Growth -

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Media contacts
Eric Humber 
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation 
709-729-4819, 725-9655

Nancy Hollett
Natural Resources
709-685-3372, 729-5777

Deirdre Greene Lono
709-864-3083, 689-1012


2018 02 26                                                    12:30 p.m.