Real-time monitoring and crisis management of oil slicks or floating structures displacement require a good knowledge of local winds, waves and currents used as input data for operational drift models. The state of the art of commonly used metocean information does show a lack of both accuracy time and space resolution : direct use - without analysis and interpolation - of coarse grid wind field model, calculation of sea-state significant wave heights and mean periods through unadequate abacus, determination of wind drift current by the raw classical law of "three percent of wind speed and forty degrees from wind direction". As a consequence, companies dedicated to monitoring or dealing with marine pollution or accidental lost floating structures, have a dramatic need for accurate metocean data with a particular emphasis on forecasting and operational features. Fortunately, thanks to their world-wide and all-weather coverage, satellite measurements have recently enabled the introduction of new methods for the remote sensing of the marine environment. Within a French joint industry project, a procedure has been developed using basically satellite measurements combined to metocean models in order to provide marine operators" drift models with reliable wind, wave and current analyses and short term forecasts. Particularly, a model now allows the calculation of the drift current, under the joint action of wind and sea-state, this radically improving the classical laws. This global procedure either directly uses satellite wind and waves measurements (if available on the study area) or indirectly, as calibration of metocean models results which are brought to the oil slick or floating structure location.
The increase in maritime traffic, pollutant and dangerous materials, and therefore accident risks that can dramatically damage environment and communities, does nowadays constitute a real problem.