NOTE: The ARSV project was cancelled in November 2008; all web content below is only for reference.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the contract of an Antarctic Research and Supply Vessel (ARSV) to service Palmer Station and Antarctic Peninsula science has now been issued.
After extensive reviews of the current charter and science mission requirements by a panel of science users, Raytheon Polar Services Marine Operations personnel, and the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, the specifications for the vessel were significantly enhanced to meet the Antarctic Peninsula Area science needs into the future. Of particular significance is that the RFP requests an initial base charter period of ten years, with a total of ten additional years as options. The RFP technical specifications are based on a mixture of both design and performance specifications.
The ARSV's primary mission will be to supply Palmer Station and support oceanographic and field research in the Southern Ocean (Antarctic Peninsula region). This solicitation effort seeks a vessel to continue to serve in the role currently filled by the Laurence M. Gould to satisfy the future support needs of both the science community and Palmer Station. The current charter contract has been extended beyond the original January 2008 date, and now runs to July 16, 2010.
The schedule for this effort continues to provide opportunities for the science community at large to participate in the process of securing a vessel for the Peninsula area. A contract award is anticipated in late 2008, and at that time, the final design efforts to produce a construction design will begin with the successful project bidder.
Throughout the above process, this forum will continue to be used as an open means to solicit, gather and incorporate input from the broad community of potential ship users: scientists, technicians, operators, managers, and others who have an interest in the ship's capabilities.
This forum has already been a valuable project management tool for developing, collecting and organizing science and technical requirements for the ARSV RFP. Continued community involvement in this effort, both now and in the future, is critical to capturing detailed input for possible inclusion in the final design effort. All input will be carefully considered, and all valid input will be posted to this forum for review and comment by all interested parties.