Ice Drift Datasets | Canatec

By: Canatec Associates International  09-12-2011
Keywords: Ice

Canatec Ice Drift Data Set    


  • Canatec can sell long term drift data sets instead of beacons
  • Benefits to customers – significant cost reduction and elapsed time to deploy
  • We are experts in:
    • ice Health Safety Environment procedures
    • acquiring regulatory permits
    • deploying the beacons
    • gathering and organizing the data outputs.


Four Canatec-designed beacons have been deployed in the Beaufort Sea lease areas. Sampling rate of 2 hours and resolution of 2.5 m allow much improved calculations of impact loading and ice management strategies.    

The beacons have been placed on large, thick floes, one of which is multi-year ice. They will transmit while floating and have limited capability to continue working under refreeze conditions. This extended life will generate data critical for understanding movement of oil from possible spills and blowouts.    

Tracking Displays    

Data can be accessed by the user as they are produced, on the Canatec website’s ( “Tracking Beacon Map”. Access is password protected.    

The 4 beacons were transmitting as indicated north of the Mackenzie Delta. Tracking displays can be manipulated on the web to examine each beacon drift in detail, up to the 2.5 m maximum resolution. The display will give the location at each time.    

Data are available in text files for downloading. Data and displays are continuously updated. The data stream includes time, position, temperature, barometric pressure (the northern-most beacon only) and the number of satellites viewed by the GPS in making a position fix (which relates to accuracy if they fall below 4). The following table shows a sample data set for a beacon.    

   time                date                 latitude           longitude         pres.       temp.     satellites    

(UTC)             (Calendar)      (degrees)           (degrees)     (mbar)      (°C)     (number)    

12:20:06         21/03/10         71.939             – 137.292         1036       -27.8          9    

14:21:26          21/03/10         71.934             – 137.303         1035       -27.3           8    

16:20:26         21/03/10         71.929             – 137.315         1035       -26.9          10    

18:21:06          21/03/10         71.921             – 137.327         1035       -25.4           11    

Payment options    

Users can purchase data streams from any or all of the beacons, for a minimum of a one-month period, on a monthly basis. If data recording stops, Canatec can deploy replacement beacons (dependent on environmental conditions). Payments are every month or every three months, whichever is the shorter period of the contract. To choose a beacon track and time, temporary access can be given to the tracking part of the website.    


The data set may be used by any individual working within the same corporate building. Users working in other physical locations must purchase separate data sets. The raw data set may not be resold, nor utilized by any other party except as part of a specific joint venture or subcontract for analysis.    

Additional Services and Customization    

If desired, Canatec can provide expert analysis of drift data and relate them to specific issues of importance to users. Data sets in other areas of interest and seasons can be generated on request. Beacons can also be customized to vary sampling rates, house additional sensors, and sink after ice melt if required by environmental permitting.    

How to Purchase    

Contact Svetlana Machurina at +1 403 228 0962. Upon receipt of a purchase order number, a permanent username and password will be e-mailed to the user to download the purchased data sets for the duration of the contract.

Keywords: Ice

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