RV Polar Duke

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File:RV Polar Duke.jpg
The RV Polar Duke in 1989.

The R/V Polar Duke is a 219-foot ice-strengthened research vessel built in 1983 and chartered by the National Science Foundation for use in Antarctic waters. Polar Duke was designed specifically for scientific research with wet and dry laboratories, and an electronic workshop and laboratory. The hull is constructed similar to that of an icebreaker, but the ship isn’t as powerful as an icebreaker. It is equipped with a stern A-frame crane and helicopter deck.

Polar Duke worked in support of United States research base Palmer Station, Antarctica from January 1985 until June 1997. The "Duke" transported supplies and personnel between Palmer Station and the port of Punta Arenas, Chile, on the Strait of Magellan, for 13 years, providing seagoing and shore-based research support in waters and islands in the Drake Passage and around the Antarctic Peninsula.

In November 1997 Polar Duke was replaced in its role with the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) by the ice strengthened Lawrence M. Gould.

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