What's New?

New Antarctic Research Vessel

Advanced Icebreaking Research Vessel Development Beginning

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Conceptual rendering of the new Antarctic Research Vessel

Conceptual rendering of the new Antarctic Research Vessel

NSF, illustrated by Glosten Associates Inc.

Introduction and Overview

Welcome to the new Future USAP Antarctic Research Vessel (ARV) pages. Here you will learn about the National Science Foundation's new Antarctic Research Vessel that, if funded, is expected to be delivered by mid-2031. This information will guide you through frequently asked questions, the current preliminary vessel design, expected vessel capabilities, and much more. The voices of our community are valued, please use the ARV Feedback Form below to provide any additional comments regarding the new ARV project.

We Want Your Input

Submit your comments, questions, or feedback to the NSF/GEO ARV Team using the link below, or view the Community Input section for more information on how to contribute.

ARV Feedback Form   Community Input and Design


Purpose of the ARV Project

This project is dependent on funding approvals from the NSF Director, and the National Science Board, and appropriations from Congress. The ARV project will produce a modern, world-class, ice-breaking research vessel coupled with modern scientific tools and enhanced capabilities compared to those of the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP). The ARV will ensure uninterrupted science operation in the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic for decades to come. The new research vessel will support the National Science Foundation's science mission goals by increasing access to ice protected hard-to-reach study sites, allowing for longer mission durations, and delivering more scientists and equipment to the Antarctic theatre.


High-Level Description of Vessel Capabilities

The table below shows the key performance parameters for the Project (KPP)

Parameter Requirement Threshold Value
Icebreaking The capability to independantly break ice ≥4.5 feet @ ≥3 knots
Meet requirements for Polar Code notation Polar Code PC3
Endurance Maximum endurance without replenishment ≥90 days underway
Science and Technical Personnel Provisions for berthing, messing, sanitation, and scientific workspaces Crew and ≥55 science and technical personnel

Project Schedule and Timeline

ARV Project Schedule/Timeline (Graphic)

Figure: Project Timeline for the Antarctic Research Vessel (ARV) Replacement Project

An in-depth explanation of the three design phases: Conceptual, Preliminary, and Final can be found in the NSF Research Infrastructure Guide (RIG) - December 2021 (NSF 21-107).