sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Satellite imaging for search and rescue - coming of age
Satellite imaging for search and rescue - coming of age

'A catastrophic event may destroy all communications gear on board very rapidly'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Two leaders in the field of search and rescue have stated that it won't be long before satellite imaging is all part of the matrix when a sailing boat sounds an alarm or goes missing in the ocean - and this could make all the difference.

'Until now, it’s not been realistic to use such images in real time [for searches] unless you were a government agency,' Jeff Glickman, a nationally-recognized Seattle-area satellite image analyst, recently told Bruce Dorminey of Forbes. 'What’s changed in the last year is the development of certain polar orbiting commercial satellites capable of scanning the earth quickly. We’re at a tipping point where you could catch a water craft on an image at least once a day.'

In the news recently are two incidents to which this could apply - one fictional, one all too tragically real. In the film 'All is Lost', Robert Redford, sailing solo seventeen hundred miles off the Sumatran Straits, is hit by a drifting sea-land cargo container.

Although Redford manages to make three SOS calls, he’s soon forced to abandon ship.

While the causes of a real tragedy at sea - the demise of the Nina in the Tasman Sea - may never be known, something just as catastrophic may have happened to this fully-crewed, 70-foot American schooner.

But in such rare cases when all emergency communications fail, satellite imaging could now make the crucial search and rescue difference.

Nina in happier days -  .. .  
The story is well-known to Sail-World readers. With seven aboard, including six Americans, the Nina’s last confirmed, but undelivered satellite phone text message, stated that that the schooner had had its storm sails stripped away and was encountering 110 km/hour wind gusts and 8-meter ocean swells.

By then, the craft was estimated to be some 370 nautical miles West-North-West of Cape Reinga in the Tasman Sea, between Newcastle, Australia and Opua, New Zealand.

However, Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre officially suspended its search after 12 days, which included covering some 737,000 sq. nautical miles with a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft.

Meanwhile, friends and families of Nina’s missing crew contacted DigitalGlobe DGI +0.85%. The U.S.-based satellite operator readily agreed to reposition its constellation of commercial satellites to collect high-resolution imagery of almost 500,000 square kilometers — an area larger than California. DigitalGlobe then used its recently-acquired Tomnod crowdsourcing online platform to aid in the search.

DigitalGlobe recruited thousands of online users to help sift through massive amounts of sat-photo images and tag anything that might look like the missing craft or its life raft.

An image taken September 16th by DigitalGlobe’s QuickBird satellite was flagged as potentially being the missing yacht by multiple Tomnod users.


The image was then sent to Maritime New Zealand where it was thoroughly analysed in terms of whether it would 'constitute sufficiently-compelling new information to resume active searching,' says Nigel Clifford, Maritime New Zealand’s General Manager for Safety and Response services, which oversaw search and rescue for the Nina. It was then determined, says Clifford, that the QuickBird photo isn’t likely to contain an image of the missing yacht.

'But given the elapsed time, survival under this scenario is most unlikely,' said Clifford. Sadly, by the time the images were seen by potential rescuers, the target would have drifted far from the sighted position.

Clifford notes that analytical image analysis technology has to be both highly effective and fast enough to beat the clock.

'All is Lost' only reinforces just how difficult open ocean search and rescue can be. Redford’s full-sized life raft passes within half a mile of two large cargo ships and even with flares still can’t get their attention.

Glickman says as long as the craft is still on the surface, by knowing its dimensions and the satellite that imaged it, analysts could quickly compute how the vessel would appear from low earth orbit. He adds that because satellite images are registered with geospatial coordinates, in principle, search agencies using them should then have precise new location data to work with.

Right now, satellite imagery is on the fringe when it comes to search and rescue. 'We run [some] 300 sea, air and land searches annually and satellite imagery would possibly be useful in one incident per year,' said Clifford. 'That said, even for this very rare usage, we are keen to access satellite imaging’s capabilities.'

Maybe not very effective today, but in the near future satellite imaging could be one more standard tool used by the search and rescue organisation searching for lost sailors.

Source article


by Bruce Dorminey, Forbes/Sail-World Cruising


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117093

3:38 AM Wed 27 Nov 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

25 Jan 2014  Safety authorities refuse further help to locate missing schooner Nina
25 Jan 2014  Downunder Safety authorities refuse help to find missing schooner Nina






News - USA and the World















America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,






































2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii














Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September   
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video   
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead   
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video   
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2   
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video   
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice   
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs   
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off   
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario   
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events   
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 3   
Sailing through STEM Night at California YC   
Six Metre European Championship - High temps and little wind on day 3   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Light wind opener in Vannes   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT