Aurora Australis (icebreaker)
Aurora Australis docked at Hobart in 2010
|Namesake:||The Aurora Australis|
|Owner:||P&O Maritime Services|
|Builder:||Carrington Slipways, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia|
|Launched:||18 September 1989|
|In service:||30 March 1990|
|Identification:||IMO number: 8717283|
|Length:||94.91 m (311.4 ft)|
|Beam:||20.3 m (67 ft)|
|Draught:||7.862 m (25.79 ft)|
|Depth:||10.43 m (34.2 ft)|
|Ice class:||LR 1A Super Icebreaker|
|Installed power:||Wärtsilä 16V32D (5,500 kW) and 12V32D (4,500 kW)|
|Propulsion:||One controllable pitch propeller with nozzle
One bow thruster
Two stern thrusters
|Speed:||16.8 knots (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph) (max)
13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) (cruising)
2.5 knots (4.6 km/h; 2.9 mph) (1.23 m (4.0 ft) ice)
|Capacity:||1,700 m3 (60,000 cu ft) of break bulk cargo
1,000 m3 (35,000 cu ft) of supply fuel in tanks
|Aircraft carried:||Up to four helicopters|
|Aviation facilities:||Hangar and helideck|
Aurora Australis is an Australian icebreaker. Built by Carrington Slipways and launched in 1989, the vessel is owned by P&O Maritime Services, but is regularly chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) for research cruises in Antarctic waters and to support Australian bases in Antarctica.
Design and construction
Aurora Australis is 94.91 metres (311.4 ft) long, and has a beam of 20.3 metres (67 ft), draught of 7.862 metres (25.79 ft) and moulded depth of 10.43 metres (34.2 ft). Her displacement is 8,158 tons, gross tonnage 6,574 and deadweight tonnage 3,911 tons. Her propulsion machinery consists of two Wärtsilä medium-speed diesel engines in father-son arrangement, one 16-cylinder 16V32D producing 5,500 kW and one 12-cylinder 12V32D producing 4,500 kW. Both engines are coupled to a single shaft through a reduction gear, driving a single, left-hand-turning controllable pitch propeller in a nozzle. Slow speed manoeuvring is achieved with three manoeuvering thrusters, one forward and two aft. Aurora Australis has a maximum speed of 16.8 knots (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph), and a cruising speed of 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph). The vessel can break level ice up to 1.23 metres (4 ft 0 in) thick at 2.5 knots (4.6 km/h; 2.9 mph).
Aurora Australis is served by a crew of 24 and carry up to 116 passengers accommodated in three or four-bunk cabins with attached bathrooms. The ship has a cargo capacity of 1,700 cubic metres (60,000 cu ft) for break bulk or 29 twenty-foot equivalent containers, and a supply tank that can hold 1,000 cubic metres (35,000 cu ft) of fuel.. The ship is fitted with laboratories for biological, meteorological, and oceanographic research, and was designed with a trawl deck for the deployment and recovery of research instruments while at sea. The ship's hangar and helideck allow for the operation of up to three helicopters, usually Eurocopter Squirrels or Sikorsky S-76s.
Aurora Australis is chartered by the AAD over the southern summer for research purposes, and to support the Antarctic bases operated by the AAD. The vessel spends most winters in port in Hobart, Tasmania, as the AAD headquarters is in the nearby town of Kingston. P&O sometimes charter the ship for other work during winter.
On 8 May 2011, Aurora Australis was chartered by the Department of Defence for a two-month deployment (ending 30 June) as an amphibious transport ship supporting the Royal Australian Navy. The charter, costing A$3.375 million, was to assist in the Australian government response to humanitarian crises and natural disasters that occurred while the naval heavy lift ship HMAS Tobruk undergoes maintenance.
- "Aurora Australis". Australian Antarctic Division. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Barlow, Karen (25 January 2011). "Revhead heaven in icebreaker's engine room". ABC News Online. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- Departmental investigation into the engine room fire onboard the Australian Antarctic Research and Supply Vessel Aurora Australis at the Antarctic ice edge on 22 July 1998. MIIU. Retrieved on 2012-04-02.
- "Amphibious Ship Update" (Press release). The Hon. Jason Clare MP Minister for Defence Materiel. 11 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.