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Past operations & data

Scientific equipment

Communications / Navigation / Tracking


Ship contact info

VHF Radio Call Sign:
Iridium phone cockpit:
00 - 88 1677 72 7018
Iridium spare 1:
00 - 88 1621 41 8079
Iridium spare 2:
00 - 88 1621 44 3804
Emergency Beacon:
ID: ADE90 05931 C34D
Handheld Emergency Beacon:
ID: LC 4652
Hovercraft registered in Delaware, US:
DL 1519 AB


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Last update: June 26, 2020, at 08:55 PM
Version: pmwiki-2.3.22

SABVABAA - Inuit word meaning: "flows swiftly over it"

A hovercraft dedicated to Arctic Ocean research. Background information

Vision - To promote geomarine research in the Arctic Ocean by combining modern technology with the advantages of the drifting sea ice cover.

Click to see presentations on YouTube Survey overview
Click to watch YouTube presentation.

"The FRAM-2014/15 expedition arrived in Longyearbyen on August 22nd 2015 with the hovercraft Sabvabaa after drifting across the inaccessible Arctic Ocean during one year. Prof. Yngve Kristoffersen and Audun Tholfsen have during the FRAM-2014/15 ice drift station has made unique geological, sea ice, ocean and atmospheric measurements from the inaccessible Arctic Ocean during all four seasons."

Click to watch YouTube presentation.

2012 survey.

Click to watch YouTube presentation.

August 2014: Start of one-year Arctic survey, in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

Click to watch YouTube presentation.

2008 Hovercraft presentation.

Scientific activities20082009201020112012
Ice thickness measurements200 km30 km0 km0 km600 km
Ice cores32000
CTD stations1057040
Seismic reflection (in drift mode)10 km35 km35 km44 km0
Sediment cores20000
Rock dredges (successful)05 (3)11 (7)14(10)0

Hovercraft operations20082009201020112012
Total number of trips Longyearbyen to north of 80 N55331
Total milage3.300 nm3.100 nm2.075 nm1.974 nm760 nm
Total distance over sea ice80 nm80 nm540 nm455 nm612 nm
Distance north from the ice edge7 nm15 nm90 nm75 nm270 nm
Longest trip without refuelling504 nm724 nm675 nm314 nm
Fuel consumption at ecomony speed60 l/hr.60 l/hr.60 l/hr.50 l/hr.
Economy speed with full payload16-28 knop16-28 knop16-28 knop
Average payload at departure Longyearbyen3.2 ton3.2 ton3.2 ton3.2 ton3.2 ton

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Page last modified on February 14, 2020, at 12:29 PM
Department of Earth Science
University of Bergen