The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities
2.1.4 Policing In the Arctic region, policing extends beyond law enforcement to include a variety of other sovereignty and security roles. The safety of policing in the Arctic is impacted by the isolation, extreme weather conditions, and dependency on reliable transportation and communications. Only a few of the Arctic nations’ policies mention the importance of policing in the region. Communications – Reliable communications is important for some policing roles, such as search and rescue. 2.1.5 Search and Rescue Search and rescue (S&R) requirements are expected to grow as economic development and the population of the Arctic increases. S&R response times may be protracted because of the severe climate, great distances involved, and the relative shortage of personnel and equipment. S&R is mentioned in most nations’ Arctic policy documents, either as an area where action is intended to be taken, or as an interest in terms of contribution to a multilateral solution for the region. Communications – Access to reliable satellite based mobile communications services is a necessity for S&R in remote areas for both the parties in distress and the responders. Weather – S&R situations during inclement weather require accurate weather information to assess which assets may be employed and determine optimal windows for response, while ensuring the safety of search personnel. Navigation – Some distress alerting devices incorporate their GNSS position in their signals. GNSS is used by responders in planning S&R operations to lay out search patterns and subsequently to systematically navigate over those patterns with GNSS. Earth Observation – Within an S&R context, EO is used for rapid, synoptic views of the emergency surroundings and the derivation of environmental parameters used to predict search zones. Emergency planning and delivery mechanisms exist that can be invoked to gain priority over all other uses of most EO systems. Surveillance – The Cospas-Sarsat satellite system provides accurate, timely, and reliable distress alert and location information and is an important means by which S&R authorities are alerted to persons in distress in the Arctic. 2.1.6 Disaster Management There are four phases of disaster management – mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and the latter two are of most significance in the Arctic because of the harsh conditions. The potential for disasters will increase as the accessibility of the region improves and the level of activity grows. This topic is identified in the policies of many of the Arctic nations. Communications – Access to reliable satellite based communications services is important for disaster response in the Arctic.
Surveillance – Space-based AIS is necessary in the Arctic because of the unacceptably high costs of installing terrestrial AIS infrastructure to cover the long shipping routes in and through the region. 2.1.2 Air Transportation The primary safety risks arise from loss of communications and navigation capabilities. There is an increased risk in the Arctic due to bad weather and landing surface conditions because of the much more limited number of alternate destinations to which an aircraft can reroute. Air transportation is referenced in only a few of the national Arctic policies. Communications – The main requirements for satellite communications originate from air traffic services, aeronautical operation control, aeronautical administration communications, diagnostics and in-flight entertainment; the latter having the highest bandwidth requirements, including phone, e-mail and web services for passengers. Aircraft tracking, remotemonitoring, and satellite communication as a backup to terrestrial systems (HF and VHF) can be satisfied by current systems, but entertainment service to passengers will require more capacity above 75 ° N. Weather – Air transport is greatly impacted by weather patterns and access to reliable and accurate weather services is imperative for safe and effective operations. Navigation – GNSS is the primary means of air navigation and has increased the safety of aviation by providing accurate, all weather navigation capability. Approaches with vertical guidance require augmentation of GNSS with an augmentation system. Surveillance – Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a surveillance technology for tracking aircraft. ADS-B helps to increase safety by pilots having the ability to see, on their in-cockpit flight display, other traffic operating in the airspace, receiving pertinent updates ranging from temporary flight restrictions to runway closings, and by air traffic controllers having the ability to more accurately and reliably monitor their positions. 2.1.3 Land Transportation The primary safety risks are related to travel over fragile ice and the potential for vehicle submersion if the ice is too weak to support the vehicle. Improvements in land transportation are a priority for many of the Arctic nations. Communications – Access to reliable satellite based mobile communications services improves the safety of travel in remote areas (e.g., along the ice-edge).
Weather – Access to reliable and timely weather forecasts allows effective route planning.
Navigation –GNSSisparticularly important for land transportation off of established routes in the featureless Arctic landscape.
Earth Observation – Safety applications of EO in the Arctic include the surveillance of ice cover on rivers and lakes used as ice roads, and the monitoring of nearshore ice used as hunting gorunds for northern communities.
Weather – Emergency situations during inclement weather require accurate weather information to assess which assets
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