Construction of Russia's High Arctic Research Platform Commences
Russia's Admiralty Yard has officially started construction on the high-Arctic research platform North Pole.
The 10,390-ton, 84-meter platform will be the world’s first research station permanently based in high Arctic waters. It is expected to be ready for operation in 2020 and will be operated by Russia's meteorological institute Roshydromet.
The platform will be capable of sailing through light ice at 10 knots, but will drift across the Arctic for up to two years at a time with 14 crew and around 40 researchers on board.
The Soviet Union and later Russia has had floating research stations in the Arctic since 1937. In recent years, research stations have been set up on an ice floe in September-October with around 20 scientists over-wintering there. However, it has become increasingly difficult to find ice floes solid enough to hold a station.
Russian research has encompassed marine life, meteorology and natural resources. Recent research has also focused on studying the Lomonosov Ridge to collect evidence that could strengthen Russian territorial claims to the seabed in that region within the Russian sector of the Arctic.