Russian scientists develop hardware and software systems capable of detecting and forecasting Arctic risks and threats

Alexander Danilov, an advisor to director of the Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research Institute of the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, said that scientists have created the scientific groundwork to identify Arctic threats such as ice, icebergs and seismic activity in an effort to support the operation of new drilling offshore platforms or vessels.

“With the help of the new hardware and software systems, for example, Russian scientists will be able to track the danger posed by icebergs. And the capabilities of these systems will be sufficient even if Russia’s activities in the Arctic increase ten-fold because science in the Arctic is developing at a rapid pace”, TASS news agency quoted Danilov as saying.

As of today, the expert assesses Russia’s activities in the Arctic at a “low” level. In particular, “there are no Russian drilling platforms in the area of iceberg threats, and at the site of the Prirazlomnaya platform [in the Pechora Sea where the sea depths are low] there are virtually no icebergs”, Danilov noted.

“Our hardware and software systems, which were built over three years using RUB 232 million in subsidies from the Ministry of Education and Science, are already serving the Prirazlomnaya platform as well as the traffic of Norilsk Nickel vessels and tankers from the Sakhalin-1 project, however there is room for more opportunities”, he added.

The system consists of a workstation with a set of software tools that can receive and process space images of the required land surface areas within a few minutes and determine whether there are icebergs in the area and where they will be in five days, for instance, taking into account currents and atmospheric phenomena.