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CARD is a medium- to long-term research & development initiative in collaboration with industry, dedicated to responsible, cost-effective hydrocarbon development in Arctic regions.

Existing solutions

Managing ice includes detection, monitoring and physical management, either by breaking up ice fields or by pulling or pushing an iceberg off course. There are many well-established methods of ice detection and monitoring, with reconnaissance by sensors mounted on seagoing vessels, aircraft and satellites. Optical detection and monitoring techniques in use since the founding of the International Ice Patrol in 1917 are being increasingly enhanced with radar imaging (which can penetrate cloud, fog and darkness), computer analysis and trajectory modeling.

The existing solution for sea ice is a variation on standard icebreaking: a drilling rig would typically be led through the ice and protected on station by a pair of ice breakers working in looping patterns to break up ice sheets — one on the outside, breaking ice sheets, the other closer, creating smaller, much less threatening bodies of ice.

Icebergs have been successfully managed on the Grand Banks by nudging or pulling them off any course that is projected to carry them into a defined iceberg exclusion zone.