The international iceberg patrol service set up after the sinking of the Titanic is now able to track drifting ice from orbit more swiftly through ESA-backed cloud computing.
The icebergs drifting in transatlantic shipping lines typically break off from the Greenland ice sheet before being carried into Baffin Bay. From there, they typically either become grounded or continue southwards. Most are gradually weathered away, but some can endure dangerously far south.
On 15 April 1912 the most infamous iceberg in history collided with the Titanic just south of the tail of Newfoundland’s Grand Banks. The loss of life was enormous, with more than 1500 passengers and crew perishing.
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The PTEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.
The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.