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Press Release 14-039
Breaking the Ice

R/V Sikuliaq completes preliminary acceptance trials

R/V Sikuliaq deparing the Wisconsin shipyard

R/V Sikuliaq departs Wisconsin shipyard for five days of preliminary acceptance trials.
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March 20, 2014

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) ice-capable research vessel R/V Sikuliaq conducted preliminary acceptance trials on the Great Lakes at the end of February, and NSF planners hope to have her in the Washington, D.C., area for a summer visit while completing the remainder of her testing along the east coast.

The NSF-owned research vessel is a 261-foot ship that the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences will operate as part of the U.S. academic research fleet. R/V Sikuliaq is uniquely equipped to operate in ice-choked waters and will be able to do so in extreme ecosystems, especially in the Arctic region, serving the science and engineering research communities for decades to come.

By late September, R/V Sikuliaq is expected to begin funded science, but the historically cold winter on the Great Lakes gave an ideal opportunity to assess her performance in ice ahead of more formal trials. Video is available of R/V Sikuliaq returning from her preliminary acceptance trials, and here are a few snapshots courtesy of Matthew Hawkins, a program director in NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences.


Media Contacts
Ivy F. Kupec, NSF, (703) 292-8796, ikupec@nsf.gov

Related Websites
UAF Sikuliaq: https://www.sfos.uaf.edu/sikuliaq/launch/index.html
Sikuliaq Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RV-Sikuliaq/148646505192538
NSF award information: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1058367&HistoricalAwards=false
NSF Science Nation piece on Sikuliaq: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/sikuliaq.jsp

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Capt. Dan Hobbs in front of operating controls of the ship
Capt. Dan Hobbs operates azimuthing thrusters, which give the ship exceptional maneuverability.
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R/V Sikuliaq backs up and rams through to break snow-packed ice.
R/V Sikuliaq backs up and rams through to break snow-packed ice.
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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.
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Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay alongside R/V Sikuliaq.
Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay alongside R/V Sikuliaq.
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R/V <em>Sikuliaq</em> crew tests science handling systems on Lake Michigan.
R/V Sikuliaq crew tests science handling systems on Lake Michigan.
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