EU members use satellites to survey North Sea for pollution
The United Kingdom's Maritime & Coastguard Agency has reported that an international tripartite surveillance program using satellites is now operational in the North Sea on a trial basis.
'Satellite trials linked to oil spill detection are not new. However ' the use of satellites for such services is a maturing piece of technology. Images are imported into geographical information systems to assist ourselves and our European partners. Another new development is the capability for images to identify the position and number of ships and offshore installations,' said Toby Stone, head of counter-pollution and response for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
The United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands are among European Union members taking part in the trial, which uses the European Space Agency's Envisat and the Canadian Radarsat satellites. Both operate in a sun synchronous orbit, taking images several times a week that are then acquired and processed by the Kongsberg Satellite Services ground station in Tromso, Norway.