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
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
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
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.