March 31, 2019 - NextGen successfully completes a comprehensive study funded by the Canadian Space Agency. We are developing the technology required to introduce the world’s first RADAR satellite based…
Lake Ice hazard Advisory service
The hazards of travel on lake ice are under-appreciated because floating ice is dynamic and remains poorly studied. NextGen uses RADAR satellite data, classification and change detection methods with climate information to identify, map, and monitor lake ice hazards. NextGen uses Cloud and Internet technology to provide near real-time lake ice hazard imaging and a notification service to reduce travel risk and improve the climate resiliency of communities as we move into a warming climate.
Frozen lakes are common features of our landscape and are an important cultural heritage. It is unfortunate that most people have to learn lake ice safety on their own, step by step, by trial and error. That is the inherent nature of risk. NextGen advocates new technology and education can help to decrease risk by improving the safety of lake ice travel through planning, identification, and monitoring of risk factors. Our services complement and can improve your existing best practices for travel on floating lake ice.
Why Map Lake Ice Hazards Now?
Our past experience on lake ice is not expected to be a good indicator of the future. A study published recently in Nature Climate Change indicates an extensive loss of lake ice will occur within the next generation. This is not the distant future. This challenges even the experienced as we all head into a new ice regime. Such climate change could have profound effects on many remote communities and the recreational activities of an increasing number of lake ice users as our populations grow. Inter-annual climate variation is superimposed on this warming trend. This means the risks we understand today are likely to increase as the ice conditions that we have become accustomed to change. A new approach is merited to help ease into a warming climate.
The risk of collision with rough ice or immersion of property and people can be reduced with planning, identification, and monitoring of specific risk factors that improve best practices for travel on lake ice. Also, there is information about the structure and decay of lake ice held within the scientific community that should be more accessible to those of benefit. Such outreach has not occurred before as it was not possible to create and relay timely and actionable information.
The maturation of RADAR satellite imaging and internet technologies today means we can detect properties of lake ice from space and make this information available in near-real time applications using the web and cellular phones. RADAR images are formed with energy that comes from the satellite. This means imaging can occur at night, through clouds during the day, and using wavelengths that are independent of weather. As the number of RADAR satellites is increasing and with low or no cost for images new ice monitoring applications can help make a difference.
March 31, 2019 – NextGen completed a study of lake ice hazards funded by the Canadian Space Agency. We studied 84 lakes in Canada for two winters (three consecutive freeze-ups) to break-up, starting in 2016. Ice validation study was completed in smaller areas of the complex ice cover found on the south basin of Lake Winnipeg.
After the novel and successful project, NextGen continues to develop and apply the new state of science and technology. We have since refined and applied the new advances in understanding to challenging ice conditions, including those found at the scale of the southern basin of Lake Winnipeg for the 2018/2019 ice cover period, for example.
Please see our April 2019 Lake Ice Newsletter request form below for more information. We welcome your interest and look forward to working with you. Call 1-204-298-0551.