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Marine Environment - Routine monitoring off the coast of Greenland

Requesting Authority: Joint Arctic Command (JACO).

Area: Greenland.

Date: As of January 2018.


A primary mission of the Joint Arctic Command (JACO) of the Danish Defence Command is to monitor the seas around Greenland. From January 2018, CMS began delivering services for pollution detection off the coast of Greenland. These services comprise routine monitoring for the detection of illegal ship-source discharges, with regular images taken across defined areas throughout the year, in order to detect possible pollutions whenever and wherever they occur. The detection capabilities of CMS are integrated in a comprehensive pollution detection and response chain, in which the initial detection of pollution will eventually lead to the successful prosecution of a violator.

In cooperation with JACO, EMSA plans and orders satellite imagery to meet service coverage requirements. After image acquisition trained operators assess the images with supporting information (e.g. vessel position data), to identify possible pollutions and determine the likelihood of the presence of oil on the sea surface, and to assist in identifying the source of the pollution.

When a possible oil spill is detected, an alert message is sent to the Danish authorities and the analysed images are available in the user portal in near-real time (approximately 30 minutes after satellite overpass). These near-real time service capabilities are crucial to enable a rapid response by the user, as well as to increase the likelihood of catching the polluter red-handed.

csn case 2010a
csn case 2010aCredits: Copernicus Sentinel data (2017)

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