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Press Release 14-039

Breaking the Ice

R/V Sikuliaq completes preliminary acceptance trials

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R/V Sikuliaq deparing the Wisconsin shipyard

R/V Sikuliaq departs the shipyard at Menominee River in Wisconsin to embark on five days of preliminary acceptance trials on Lake Michigan.

Credit: Matt Hawkins, NSF


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Capt. Dan Hobbs in front of operating controls of the ship

Capt. Dan Hobbs operates the azimuthing thrusters, which can rotate 360 degrees and give the ship exceptional maneuverability for science and in the ice. Capt. Hobbs has been a ship operator on the Great Lakes for many years and is highly experienced in ice conditions.

Credit: Photo credit: Matt Hawkins, NSF


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R/V Sikuliaq backs up and rams through to break snow-packed ice.

On the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, leaving Ludington, R/V Sikuliaq backs up and rams through to break snow-packed ice that developed in a winter gale there the day before.

Credit: Matt Hawkins, NSF


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R/V Sikuliaq breaking through two feet of lake ice.

R/V Sikuliaq tangles with a snowstorm out on Green Bay, breaking through two feet of lake ice.

Credit: Matt Hawkins, NSF


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Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay alongside R/V Sikuliaq.

As a precautionary measure, the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay accompanied R/V Sikuliaq, but ultimately she showed she too was capable of blazing her own trail in the ice.

Credit: Matt Hawkins, NSF


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R/V <em>Sikuliaq</em> crew tests science handling systems on Lake Michigan.

On one of the clearer days during the preliminary acceptance trials, the crew tested science handling systems in open water on Lake Michigan, using massive cranes to recover and deploy various weights to simulate operations.

Credit: Matt Hawkins, NSF


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