27 Jan 2022

Ambition to map entire Arctic coastal zone using satellites

New satellite tool enables large-scale mapping to understand Earth’s resources and de-risk Arctic maritime navigation

Mapping the entire Greenland coastal zone risk-free is now possible with earth observation.

Across the Arctic, topographic maps are generally not up-to-date and the positional accuracy is often inadequate outside the main settlement areas. Maritime operations in the Arctic are therefore often associated with a high level of navigational risk since access to reliable nautical charts is limited by the fact that existing charts are often several nautical miles off, with vast areas still uncharted. 

DHI’s newly developed satellite-based shallow water risk maps Nautical Navigation Operational Knowledge (NANOK) aim to provide the solution to map these unexplored areas. This journey of de-risking Arctic navigation has begun in Greenland. Find out why this is important.

A task impossible with traditional surveys or drones

‘NANOK enables large scale mapping of submerged rocks, intertidal zones and accurate delineation of coastlines and is perfect for remote and poorly charted areas across the Arctic region. By using satellites to map the coastal zone, dangerous shallow waters across large vast regions can be mapped very quickly – a task that would be impossible with any other technologies such as traditional vessel-based surveys or drones’, explains Mikkel Høegh Bojesen, Business Development and Project Manager, Data & Analytics at DHI.

Ramus Eskerod Borgstrøm, VP Innovation Lab, shares, ‘Based on the many fruitful talks with end-users and relevant stakeholders operating in the Arctic, it seems we’re not alone in agreeing that satellite EO is an effective way to secure information around the vast, remote and poorly chartered areas in Greenland.’ 

Mikkel adds, ‘Thanks to great feedback on the NANOK prototype from users and stakeholders in Greenland and Denmark, we have decided to proactively pursue the possibilities of getting public funding that will allow us to produce the entire Greenland area in just 1-2 years.’ Stay tuned for updates.

Curious to know how satellites can help us understand Earth’s natural resources better? See what’s possible