"GANDER - the worlds first and largest commercially driven earth observation constellation" - the 8th of February, Tuesday, at 11 am in the Seminar room


In a typical year $2.65 billion are paid out in insurance losses and over 1000 lives are lost as a direct result of bad weather at sea. Weather forecasts which might have reduced damage or even avoided the risk completely are generally regarded as being insufficient and untrustworthy by those responsible for safety at sea. GANDER is built on the premise that one significant reason for the poor performance of wave forecasts is a lack of reliable data. The ERS-1 satellite introduced the potential of monitoring sea state in near real time through the fast delivery of microwave radar data from a suite of instruments. Foremost amongst those instruments was the radar altimeter which provides accurate estimates of wave height and wind speed along a narrow swath beneath the satellite. With only one satellite operational at any one time, gaps of up to 2,500 km occur routinely between ground tracks thus making it impossible to track potentially damaging storm systems reliably. GANDER aims to fill those gaps and build a profitable business out of the provision of reliable sea state information to ships at sea as well as shore-based operations centres. A joint venture company has recently been formed by SOS and SSTL to raise necessary investment and ultimately deliver valuable services which result in reduced risks for those at sea.