Australian icebreaker “Nuyina” with software problems | Polarjournal
The “Nuyina” is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world and continues a proud Australian history of exploration and science in Antarctica. (Photo: Richard Jupe / AAD)

Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker needs repairs just days after its marathon voyage from the Netherlands to Tasmania.

The maiden voyage of the new Australian icebreaker “Nuyina” had to be postponed due to problems with the alarm and monitoring system. The icebreaker was officially launched on Hobart’s waterfront last Saturday and was due to head south on Monday night.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at the ceremony that the “Nuyina” is the most advanced polar research vessel in the world.

“From aboard the RSV Nuyina, scientists can explore unknown areas of the deep ocean and study the upper reaches of the atmosphere,” he said.

Shortly after the icebreaker “Nuyina” was officially commissioned, a software error delayed its maiden voyage. (Photo: Richard Jupe/AAD)

Final tests of the 160-metre-long, 25,000-tonne vessel’s alarm and monitoring system software revealed problems that need to be fixed before it sails, the ‘Australian Antarctic Division’ stated.

Already during her voyage from the shipyard in the Netherlands to her home port Hobart, the “Nuyina” suffered an electrical defect in October. Shortly before arrival, the crew became aware of a fault in the electrical system driving the port shaft line drive motor. The repairs could be completed in Hobart under warranty.

Now the “Nuyina” is expected to set sail towards the end of this week with 67 expedition members and crew. The researchers and technicians, who had been living in isolation in Hobart for two weeks, boarded the ship on Tuesday to receive training and briefings.

On board the “Nuyina” are two helicopters, which are delivered to the Davis research station. (Photo: Wayde Maurer)

AAD Director Kim Ellis told the media he expects minor challenges during the ship’s first voyage to Antarctica.

The “Nuyina” will take 10 days to reach Davis Station, where she will stay for a few days before making a four-day voyage to Casey and a seven-day voyage back to Tasmania. Marine research projects will also be carried out during the cruise.

A two-month research trip is also scheduled to begin in February.

The ship was originally due to arrive in Tasmania in 2020, but had suffered construction delays prior and due to the COVID pandemic.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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