Our Smart Technology

Our system provides up-to-date information to suit community and industry specific needs:

Up-to-date Go, Slow, No-Go colour-coded travel zones. Designations are based on numerous data points, on-the-ground reports, and traditional knowledge.

• Combined ice and snow thickness measurements along specific travel routes. Users can also view changes in ice thickness over time.

• Daily satellite imagery of ground cover and ability to overlay coastline.

• Geographical and community-based interest markers. These may include landscape or ice features representing potential hazards, presence of cracks in the ice, location of seal holes, and base camp locations.

• Standard map features including a variety of zoom levels and views (satellite, road, terrain).


SmartBUOYs are stationary sensors inserted into the ice to measure ice thickness and snow using thermistors (similar to a thermometer). There are 60 thermistors in the SmartBUOY which measure the temperature of the air, snow, ice and water. From those readings, we can create a temperature profile of each section and determine the thickness of the ice. Data from SmartBUOYs are transferred to satellites 1-2 times per day and made available to the community at SIKU.org.


The SmartQAMUTIK provides valuable information about sea ice conditions along community trails. The SmartQAMUTIK is towed behind a snowmobile and provides real-time ice and snow thickness measurements to the operator. This equipment uses a sensor called an EM31 to measure the thickness of the ice and snow based on the salinity (saltiness) of the sea water. It transmits electromagnetic signals through the snow and ice that induce electrical currents in the conductive salt water and return to the sensor producing an instantaneous ice and snow thickness measurement. This measurement is from the top of the snow to the bottom of the ice. SmartQAMUTIK trips are completed at least once per week and data is made available to the community on SIKU.org.

Do SmartICE technologies create noise that disturbs wildlife?

Deploying a SmartBUOY requires drilling a hole in the sea ice with an auger, similar to creating a hole for ice fishing. Once the SmartBUOY is frozen into the ice, it operates very quietly and makes no sound that affects wildlife in the water or above the ice. SmartBUOYs only turn on for a few minutes every day to take measurements. Natural sounds like rain, the ice moving and shifting, or an animal running across the ice are much louder than any sound coming from the SmartBUOY.

The SmartQAMUTIK includes an EM sensor that is towed on a qamutik behind a snowmobile. The EM sensor creates a very quiet high beep sound. This sound can be heard by animals, for example seals (Cunningham, et al,. 2014), but the sound created by the engine of the snowmobile is much louder than the sound created by the EM sensor.


For more information about SmartICE technologies, contact:

Tyler Spurrell Technical Operations Manager, St. John’s


Services to Industry

We work with a variety of industries to monitor ice thickness in communities. For example, inshore fishery, tourism operators, engineering firms, researchers, and academia.

Advisian requested the services of SmartICE to provide ice thickness in the footprint of a proposed small craft harbour in Arctic Bay. Andrew Arreak from Pond Inlet collected ice thickness measurements using the SmartQAMUTIK Device and ice augers, which supported data required for ice engineering design needed to complete a geotechnical and environmental drilling program. SmartICE is a pleasure to work with and it is fantastic that local community members are sourced and trained to complete fieldwork. Looking forward to working with you all again.


If your organization is interested in partnering with SmartICE, please contact:

Carolann Harding Executive Director, St. John’s



Cunningham, Kane A.; Southall, Brandon L.; Reichmuth, Colleen (2014): Auditory sensitivity of seals and sea lions in complex listening scenarios. In The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 136 (6), p. 3410. DOI: 10.1121/1.4900568.