PS116 - Weekly Report No. 2 | 19 - 25 November 2018

Polarstern in 3D

[28. November 2018] 

The arrival of Polarstern in the port of Las Palmas took a little longer, because the dedicated berth was occupied by another vessel. She drifted some miles away from the breakwater to wait for the pilot to come on board and the required permission to go alongside.

After lunch, she passed the breakwater, where we could wave to the crew and scientists standing on the open decks. Polarstern made fast at the bunker pier where we finally went on board.

Polarstern made fast at the bunker pier where we finally went on board. Beforehand we luckily had the change to spend some of the waiting time in one of the cafes on the market place in the city centre. Unlike the three technicians who were waiting on the pier for several hours to start the planned 3D survey of Polarstern and almost got a sunburn while sitting on their boxes full of equipment until the vessel arrived.

During the following three days, the technicians made a 3D survey of almost every public corner of the vessel. Result of the survey will be a 3D plan of the research equipment, laboratories and recreational areas of the vessel to facilitate future planning and preparation of scientific cruises. After the finalization, a virtual walk through Polarstern will be possible for everyone who is interested. Before the technicians could stroll through all decks with their laser scanner and camera trolley, they had to solve a problem, which was completely new to them. Because they had never made a survey in a ship before, the movements of Polarstern caused the technicians to look for new reference points. In the end, they removed some of the movement and positioning sensors from their devices and referred to a classical mechanic’s level to determine the relative location of the laser grid inside the ship. When they dimensioned the craws nest and the engine room, even the technicians themselves started to be curious about the result of their 3D measurements. During the time in port, the crew and scientists took the chance to make excursions on the island of Gran Canaria or simply enjoyed the restaurants in town during their time off duty.

Polarstern left the port of Las Palmas on 22 November. Since then we are steaming southwards, the en route measurements started shortly after departing from Las Palmas and the stationary research work will start in the next days.

With kind regards from crew and scientists on board of this good old Lady.

Bjela König

Cruise Leader



Bjela König

Scientific Coordination

Rainer Knust
Rainer Knust


Sanne Bochert
Sanne Bochert