Canada steps up surveillance on NW Passage

Radar, laser and infrared scanning network should detect any vessel taking Arctic route—on the surface or below

“Use it or lose it,” said the prime minister a couple of years back in reference to our tenuous Arctic sovereignty claims. But who’s already “using” the fast-melting waterways of the Northwest Passage? Russian subs? Danish adventurers? Hungry polar bears? We’re not entirely sure, so the Coast Guard has stepped up surveillance of the area with some new high-tech gear, including an array of scanners that detect the navigational radar of vessels, plus an optical system that uses laser and infrared imaging to monitor a strait from shore to shore. The information from these devices will travelvia satellite to an office in Halifax—though exactly what they’ll do if they find someone weaving between our icebergs is not yet clear.

The Chronicle-Herald