Operator: AWI - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Vessel Type: Ice Going Multipurpose Research Vessel
Vessel Class: Global
Operational Area: Atlantic Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans
Endurance: 320 days
Scientist berths: 55
RV Polarstern is a double-hulled icebreaker operational at temperatures as low as -50 °C. The ship is able to sail through 2 m thick ice with a speed of 5 knots and it breaks ice up to 3 m thickness. The ship contains nine research laboratories for biological, geological, geophysical, glaciological, chemical, oceanographic and meteorological research. Additional laboratory containers may be stored on and below deck. Refrigerated rooms and aquaria permit the transport of samples and living marine fauna. Special sounding devices with depth ranges up to 10,000 meters and which can penetrate up to 150 meters into the sea floor are available for scientific investigations. Hydro-acoustic survey systems such as Hydrosweep, Parasound and fishery sounders can be continuously operated.
Onboard scientific equipment:
Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (Ocean Surveyor 150 kHz) provides three-dimensional current vectors (to a depth of 150m);
Recording of temperature and salinity at two depths (5, 11 m) with separate Seabird systems (SBE 21, and SBE 38);
Guildline Type 8400A Salinometer;
CTD profiler (Seabird, Type SBE 911+), in combination with a rosette with 24 twelve-litre Niskin bottles;
A SIMRAD echo sounder with 4 separate Split Beam transducers of 38, 70, 120 and 200 kHz;
See Gravimeter KSS31;
High-pressure air compressor (210 bar, 516 l/s, 550 kW) and pulsar station with compressed-air store;
Deep-sea fan-beam „ HYDROSWEEP DS II“ (ATLAS Hydrosweep);
Sediment echo sounder PARASOUND DS III;
Mobile scientific equipment on request:
RV Polarstern can provide towable gear for various tasks such as plankton and fishing nets for the water column as well as the seabed. Core deposition frame, gravity corer, piston corer, and sediment samplers such as box and multi corer as well as dredges and additional sampling equipment.
Science support by crew:
Decks crew: 24h; Decks crew for heavy gear: 10h daytime; No regular technical support for onboard science systems.
Availability for EUROFLEETS:
Access to RV Polarstern is offered on transects between Bremerhaven and Cape Town or Punta Arenas in April and November 2011 to 2013. Transects lasting approximately 28 days. The ship will offer two full days of additional time on scientific stations. Applications have to fit into the long-term schedule of RV Polarstern.
Travel and shipment costs:
Travelling costs for cruise participants and the shipment of equipment to the port of mobilisation and back from the port of demobilisation will be reimbursed up to a maximum of 50.000€. If higher costs are incurred they have to be covered by the applicant.
Requirements for scientist:
Seafarers medical examination.
For the technical specifications please see the EurOcean European Research Vessels InfoBase at