Chinese university’s finish testing the first polar icebreaker named “Zhong Shan Da Xue Ji Di”
Chinese university’s first polar icebreaker owned by Sun Yat-sen University – the third of its type in China after Xuelong and Xuelong-2, successfully conducted a sea trial in the ice-covered area in the Liaodong Bay in the Bohai Sea recently and verified the ship’s abilities to complete low-temperature navigation, icebreaking, scientific research equipment on the ship, and research support in ice-covered areas.
The icebreaker, named “Zhong Shan Da Xue Ji Di”, kicked off its voyage on January 17 from the South China Sea and voyaged through the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea facing fierce winter winds and waves before arriving in Liaodong Bay.
In recent days, China’s northeast region has been blanketed in freezing weather. The ice-covered area in the Liaodong Bay of Bohai Sea is more than 10,000 square kilometers with the thickest ice over 35 centimeters, a record high in recent years.
The unexpected cold wave did not affect the sea trial of the polar icebreaker whose maximum icebreaking ability can be up to 2.2 meters of the ice.
The icebreaker with a length of 78.95 meters and a width of 17.22 meters has a displacement of 5,852 tonnes and draft of 8.16 meters.
In order to obtain sea ice and atmospheric environment information during the trial voyage in the ice area, several sets of shipborne observation equipment made synchronous observations on the area of sea ice, thickness, ice surface temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, humidity and visibility.
The vessel was donated by private Chinese entrepreneurs Zhang Xinyu and Liang Hong to the university in 2022. It was upgraded and equipped with advanced detection equipment with an investment of nearly 100 million yuan ($14.82 million) from the university.
Sun Yat-sen University held a naming ceremony for the icebreaker on September 30, 2022 and the ship completed a trial voyage in the waters in Guishan, Zhuhai city in South China’s Guangdong Province not long ago.
After the ice-breaking trial in Bohai Sea, the vessel will officially join the ranks of China’s polar ice-breaking research ships, contributing to the country’s polar research.