Ship-mounted ice-cutting laser to be tested in Arctic before 2017
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov

Ship-mounted ice-cutting laser to be tested in Arctic before 2017

The All-Russia Research Institute for Civil Defense and Emergencies under the Russian Emergencies Ministry in conjunction with Shvabe Holding, which is part of the Rostec Corporation, have signed a protocol to initiate the testing of a ship laser prototype in the Arkhangelsk Region, Interfax reports citing Shvabe's press service.

"Under the protocol, in April 2017 areas with ice floes will be studied in the region, and a test site and participating vessels will be selected," the press service reports. Testing is scheduled for late 2017 in the Arkhangelsk Region.

According to the report, the laser was designed as part of the Federal Targeted Program Development of Civil Marine Equipment for 2009 —2016. It consists of a fiber laser, a fiber optic cable, a beam aiming and focusing device and a power supply system. When active the laser will identify stress cracks in ice blocks to focus the laser beam on and then split them with heat.

"The 200 kW device is unparalleled and can split ice over one meter thick. […] This laser will guide any vessel through ice fields however strong they may be," the report says.

According to Shvabe General Director Alexei Patrikeyev, the laser will ensure year-round operation of transport routes in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, and decrease the ice load on the equipment on the continental shelf.