As the ice levels lower in the Arctic allowing for increased shipping traffic to pass through, many experts are looking to understand the implications to the ecosystem as well as the importance now placed on being able to track vessels traversing these waters.
The standard terrestrial AIS monitoring systems are not practical to deploy in the Arctic because of the lack of infrastructure, changing climate conditions, etc. The area poses many threats to vessels as the remote region can be extremely dangerous. However with a reduction in shipping times (and therefore costs) by up to 25% and no piracy concerns, the benefits to ship owners will likely outweigh the danger to crew. Monitoring shipping traffic will also be important to the countries with stake holds in the Arctic as the ownership of these waters remains in dispute.
Not only will these new shipping lanes provide benefit to shipping costs but oil exploration has already begun and will continue. Again, these industries will benefit from increased safety and security.
exactAIS® data provides excellent and consistent coverage over the vast regions of the Arctic. Detection rates saw over 8,000 vessels in the Arctic over the summer of 2011 with revisit times of at least once every hour. With the impending launch of the entire exactView constellation, revisit times are expected to be at a level of every 15 minutes ensuring that exactAIS will be the only service capable of providing the necessary safety and security to the region.