To replace its current polar research vessel, “POLARSTERN”, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, plans to build a new, multipurpose, icebreaking polar research and supply vessel, “POLARSTERN II” (PS II) for deployment in the Arctic and Antarctic regions and to supply the research station “Neumayer III” (Neumayer Station III) in the Antarctic.
The main tasks of the future vessel will consist in:
- conducting modern, interdisciplinary and sustainable marine and polar research, supplying Neumayer Station III, and supporting land-based research in the Arctic and Antarctic,
- supporting planned scientific overwinterings, and
- undertaking necessary aid missions in polar waters.
Based on field experience (most recently gathered on the MOSAiC expedition), a functional service description will be prepared for Polarstern II’s specification, and will take into account the latest research-relevant and technical findings, as well as the possibilities for sustainable and environmentally friendly operation in the polar regions. Especially with regard to underwater robotics and environmental sensor systems, extensive new systems must be installed. A further goal of constructing the new vessel is to ensure our ability to cope with future, changing weather and ice conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic.