A more popular choice for testing icebreaker designs involves using computer simulations. Everything must be scaled down in size and strength. One test involves having the model icebreakers push straight through the ice sheet in a straight line. That is why the U. Those friction factors can mean the icebreaker would need more power to push through an ice sheet. It matters for countries and corporations that want to operate ice-resistant oil rigs or generate power from offshore wind turbines in Arctic waters. But there are downsides to that approach.
Otherwise the model icebreakers might simply fail to push or ram through the ice and simply bounce off. But there are downsides to that approach. A more popular choice for testing icebreaker designs involves using computer simulations. Third, researchers cannot control for the ice conditions involved in real-life sea trials as opposed to the more highly-controlled experimental settings of an ice tank. But getting ice tank testing just right matters for much more than the U. It matters for countries and corporations that want to operate ice-resistant oil rigs or generate power from offshore wind turbines in Arctic waters. Coast Guard conduct tests of different ship designs as the United States plans to end a year lull in building new heavy icebreakers. Those friction factors can mean the icebreaker would need more power to push through an ice sheet. That is why the U. Icebreakers are needed to help scientists study the ongoing effects of climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic. Such icebreakers that can push or ram through thick sea ice and are necessary in performing patrol, resupply and emergency rescue missions near the Arctic or Antarctica. Coast Guard aims to build four heavy polar icebreakers as replacements for its single aging heavy icebreaker. And it matters for the Arctic ports and towns that have piers or wharves sticking out into icy waterways. Coast Guard and the U. Like cheaper computer simulations, ice tanks can help researchers set up very controlled experimental scenarios. So that validation provides confidence in the current ice tank tests intended to shape the future U. Even better, researchers have perfect control over the experimental conditions they want to test. One test involves having the model icebreakers push straight through the ice sheet in a straight line. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador. Coast Guard turned to the second-largest ice tank in the world owned by the National Research Council of Canada to carry out some preliminary test runs of icebreaker designs in miniature. The researchers blast the surface of the ice sheet with heat to soften the ice and alter the grain structure in a way similar to how fire is used to temper glass or steel. But energy companies, fishing fleets and cruise ship lines may also increasingly depend upon icebreakers to pave the way as they attempt to navigate new Arctic waterways that remain strewn with hazardous icy obstacles. A third test involves seeing how tightly the model icebreaker can turn in place—far from an easy task when wedged between solid sheets of ice in either the ice tank or in real life. As a sign of the times, a Finnish icebreaker recently traversed the Northwest Passage in record time. Everything must be scaled down in size and strength.
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