The Russian holding “Schwabe” and the All-Russian Research Institute for Civil Defense and Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia agreed on tests of a ship laser for icebreakers.
Today, all icebreakers of Russia are making their way through ice fields by mechanical means: they cut ice with the help of an acute stem or break it under their own weight. The laser should become an alternative to these tools. According to the “Schwabe” holding company, the laser unit will be able to cut ice with a thickness of more than 1 meter.
As reported in the press release “Schwabe”, the installation consists of a fiber laser with a power of 200 kW, fiber optic cable, setting the guidance and focusing of the laser beam and power supply system. The ship’s laser will determine the stress concentration lines in the ice cover, focus laser radiation on them and split the ice with a beam.
In April, a place will be chosen for experiments and icebreakers will be identified who will participate in them, and pilot tests of the facility are scheduled for the end of 2017.