New polar research vessel ‘Kronprins Haakon’

13 May 2015
Simrad ME70 and MS70 scientific multibeams are a key part of the delivery.

Simrad ME70 and MS70 scientific multibeams are a key part of the delivery.

The new ‘RV Kronprins Haakon’ - the first Norwegian icebreaker built for polar research - will begin regular science cruises in 2017.

The building of Kronprins Haakon will begin in June this year in Italy. The vessel will be operated by The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) under ownership of the Norwegian Polar Institute from its homeport in Tromsø, Northern Norway. As one of the most advanced polar research vessels ever built, Kronprins Haakon will become integral to gaining a greater scientific understanding of the polar and global environment.

Builder Fincantieri has selected a complete hydroacoustic systems package from Kongsberg Maritime, along with an extensive K-Bridge system, to meet the complex navigation needs of this sophisticated new research vessel.

Kongsberg will supply deep and medium depth multibeams for bottom mapping including the EM 302, EM 710 and EA 600, along with systems such as SBP300 and TOPAS to look at sub bottom structures. Position reference will be provided by the state-of-the art and industry standard HiPAP 501 system. Also part of the delivery is the Kongsberg series of Simrad scientific systems, including a new EK80 wideband single beam system, modern scientific multibeam systems ME70 and MS70, and omnidirectional sonars SH90, in addition to the new SU90 that can detect and track biology for several kilometres around the vessel. Kronprins Haakon will also carry the new Simrad FX80 trawl monitoring system, which can provide a live camera feed from the vessel sampling trawl.

Unlike other existing icebreakers the Kronprins Haakon is designed and equipped with acoustics that combined can measure and quantify biology in all components of the marine ecosystem. Quantitative multibeam and omnidirectional sonars target areas close to surface and near bottom where traditional echo sounders cannot be used.

Also unique to the Kronprins Haakon are the measures taken to secure its ability to collect scientific data both when operating in ice and in open waters. To achieve this, the vessel is equipped with two retractable keels that secure an optimal environment for acoustics. However, as the keels cannot be deployed when the vessel is breaking ice, the Kronprins Haakon also carries the full EK80 system set flush mount in ice protected artic tanks, so data can be collected when the vessel is operating in ice.

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