Canadian Arctic Shipping Risk Assessment System (CASRAS)


CASRAS is an integrated risk assessment system for marine transportation in the Canadian North that enables sound decision-making leading to safer, more efficient shipping in this harsh environment. It provides a comprehensive system for the storage, search and visualization of all key environmental data with specific application to shipping, icebreaking and navigation in northern waters and Arctic marine corridors. CASRAS is PC-based, easy to learn, easy to use, and allows quick access to essential information at northern latitudes where internet access is limited.

CASRAS processes large datasets including georeferenced static and time-varying rasters, points, polygons, time-series, text, and digital media as part of a centralized workflow. CASRAS is a platform for a range of historical datasets and operational products including:

  • Marine weather
  • Marine hydrography
  • Physical oceanography
  • Sea-ice conditions, ice hazards and physical properties
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Community information
  • Mariner knowledge including notes, charts, and digital media

What we offer

Integration and decision support

CASRAS works in parallel with ice and environmental forecasting systems to provide planning and operational decision-making support. CASRAS analytics contribute to increased reliability and transparency for strategic route planning both on-board a vessel and in the office. The CASRAS platform and datasets are stored locally with the user and key datasets are updated online when internet access is available. CASRAS remains fully functional when internet connectivity is unreliable and cost-prohibitive in the North. The user's proprietary datasets can be included thanks to system's flexibility and customizable, modular framework that allows the same level of search and analysis functionality available with other operational and historical products. Customizable risk modules allow for analysis and reporting of operation-specific risks.


CASRAS ensures that decisions are made with the best available data and provides a means for assisting successful navigation, training for ice navigators, shipping operators and Captains, and transparency for the regulatory process. The system can be used for route planning and route optimization, as a data source for where and when icebreaking is needed, for succession planning, and for training mariners. The information queried from CASRAS can also be used to evaluate historical information on wind, waves, tides, ice movement, ice deformation, bathymetry and nautical charting, provide background information for ice forecasting models and ice movement severity, and information about marine protected areas. CASRAS can also be used to identify gaps in important data and assist in identifying the most beneficial and cost effective methods required to close those gaps.

CASRAS can be used in the offices of shipping companies and government departments that operate in the Arctic. The system produces customizable reports on hazardous conditions along user-defined shipping routes. These reports contain visualizations of historical analyses and user-defined thresholds for operation. This information is useful for companies contemplating expanding to new regions, for selecting the type of vessel class to be used along the selected route, for complying with the Polar code, and for determining the historical windows of safe shipping along each route.

CASRAS is also well-suited for use on-board a vessel as it displays information associated with known risks in the region where the vessel is operating. This information includes the level of confidence of the hydrographic information, historical ice conditions including the amount of multi-year ice, and risks identified from local community knowledge and from the experiences of mariners in the region. CASRAS automatically displays this information in a default format or it can be further queried and processed to provide more detailed reports.

CASRAS is designed to support:

  • Shipping companies
  • Northern communities
  • Regulators
  • Government departments
  • Ice navigators and mariners
  • Insurance companies and associations
  • Academia

Why work with us

Working with industry to bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization, NRC plays a critical role in de-risking and demonstrating technologies in order to support industry bringing them to market. Working with NRC offers you the competitive advantage of world-class, customizable testing facilities combined with the broad knowledge and experience of our in-house research staff. NRC capitalizes on our professional staff who have extensive experience in advanced engineering and complex ocean, coastal and river environments.


Fees vary depending on the project and your requirements.

Contact us

If you would like more information about the CASRAS system: