Canada: Nunavut hunters of Canada are using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images, available on Noetix Research website, to find the safest route to the floe edge, according to Carleton University researcher Gita Laidler. She has been studying how Nunavut harvesters use satellite images of sea ice as a tool to evaluate a journey’s hazards and risks.
The SAR images were first made available through a pilot project to Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay. The project was later expanded to include Igloolik, Cape Dorset and Pangnirtung.
Gita added, “Hunters use many tools to determine safety on the ice, she said, including cloud cover, wind, weather, surface ice conditions, snow and, of course, knowledge borne of years on the land.”
Gita’s study was part of the Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project based out of Carleton University where she is an assistant professor at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.
With about 400 regular users, including hamlet offices and hunters and trappers associations which print off and post the images for those without computer access, Noetix is now offering SAR images and other optical maps throughout Canada’s Arctic.
The Noetix images are provided by the European Space Agency, Radarsat International and the Canadian Space Agency. Detailed maps are then produced by Noetix in collaboration with the Canadian Ice Service.