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  • 2022 October 3 12:01

    Russia’s drifting polar station North Pole-41 commences operation in the Arctic Ocean

    The North Pole ice-resistant self-propelled platform moored at the edge of a 42-sqm ice floe

    Russia’s drifting polar station North Pole-41 organized by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) has commenced its operation in the Arctic Ocean. The station opened on 2 October 2022 at 7 a.m. Its coordinates are 82°37’ N 155°31’ E.  The flag of the North Pole-41 expedition was hoisted to mark the inauguration, says AARI.

    The Severny Polyus (North Pole) ice-resistant self-propelled platform moored at the edge of a 42-sqm ice floe. Research equipment, transport and facilities have been unloaded onto the ice. The first field laboratories have been launched and the first meteorological report has been sent to the mainland.

    The domestic program of drifting polar stations began in 1937 with the expedition led by Ivan Papanin.

    The North Pole 41 expedition is a continuation of the national programme of drift ice stations stated in 1937 by four polar scientists lead by Ivan Papanin. In 2013, the program had to be suspended due to ice melting in the Arctic. Specialists of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute analyzed and summarized the unique experience of previous expeditions and found an optimal solution for long-term basing of research laboratories - the North Pole self-propelled ice platform.

    The one-of-a-kind ship built by Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard combines the functions of a transport, a place of accommodation, a research center and even a measurement instrument with its hull fitted with sensors for studying the ice situation.

    The Severny Polyus is the third ship in the research and expedition fleet of AARI. The shipbuilding contract between the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet), Vympel Design Bureau and  Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard was signed in April 2018. Model tests were held in AARI ice basin. The vessel was launched in December 2020 and left for sea trials on 21 May 2022. The Severny Polyus was put into operation in August 2022. The North Pole-41 expedition started in Murmansk on 15 September 2022.

    The platform specifications: LOA: 83.1 m; breadth: 22.5 m; draft: 8.6 m; displacement: 10,400 t; power propulsion unit: 4,200 kW; speed: at least 10 knots; hull strength - Arc8; fuel endurance: about 2 years; service life: at least 25 years; crew - 14; scientific personnel - 34. Class notation: KM(*) Arc5[1] AUT1-C HELIDECK-F Special purpose ship by Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

    Read more about the ice-resistant platform in IAA PortNews’ special project available in Russian >>>>

    The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute - AARI is the world’s leading research institution in the field of comprehensive studies of the Polar regions. The Institute is a full-cycle organization conducting all types of work from obtaining data from its observatories and conducting exploratory, fundamental, expeditionary research to data processing, mapping and forecasts. Our most important applied task in Arctic is to ensure safe navigation along the Northern Sea Route'.In 1994 the AARI has obtained the status of State Research Center of Russia. From 2017, AARI has been headed by RAS Professor Aleksandr Makarov.

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