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News about AURORA

This site contains information about what is happening at present.

The photos can be used, but remember photo credit. If no photographer name is by the picture, please credit: Torben Vang, Aarhus University.

(Click on the photos to see a bigger image).

Not all updates have been translated to English. See more updates in Danish.

25 April 2014

Aurora was officially christened at an event at the Port of Aarhus. 

14 April 2014

  • AURORA, AU's research vessel, has arrived at the Port of Aarhus and is located at berth 10, Revalgade, Aarhus C.

25 March 2014

  • AURORA is officially handed over to Aarhus University. The event marks a great thank you to the shipyard and its employees for the collaboration.
  • The Head of Department Hans Brix, Department of Bioscience, "baptises" the ship with a bucket of salt water.


March 2014


In week eleven, the first tests on the sea were carried out, i.e. tests of the vessel in the North Sea with the representation of The Danish Maritime Authority on board as well as workmen, etc.

The first trial trips went off extremely well, and only a few problems occurred. We have carried out a series of tests in cooperation with The Danish Maritime Authority and a number of tests of the vessel’s properties - among others, load test of one hour’s navigation with 100 per cent load, crash test, rotary test and instrument test. It was a great experience to navigate her out through the lock the first time. Due to insurance matters I was not allowed to navigate her in and out of the lock myself. Therefore an extremely experienced shipmaster was hired, and he did the job very well. However, I was allowed to navigate her out of the port and to do the tests on the sea. The vessel appears suitably lazy on the sea, and I think it is a comfortable vessel to work at.  The money spent on insulation to reduce noise nuisances seems to be a most excellent choice. There was an extremely low noise level on the vessel. You had to listen very carefully to hear if the engines were working, when you were staying in the mess, even though they worked with a 100 per cent load. The maximum speed is approximately 11.5 kn. The fuel supply at moderate speed (approx. 9 knot) is 70-90 l/h, but the vessel may use more fuel when it becomes more equipped and a bit heavier. We experienced a few hydraulic leakages from one of the steering gears and some insulation material in the engine room was not properly fastened. Moreover, there was a few problems with the pressure of the cooling water and a few other small defects. Most of them were remedied on the sea.
So it looks very promising for the future./Torben

11 March 2014

  • On the way out of the lock at Hvide Sande.
  • Rotary test on a calm North Sea.
  • The anchor also worked fine.

  • On the way back to the port after the trial trip.

  • At quay by the shipyard in Hvide Sande. Now the vessel needs to be painted, and a few defects need to bee fixed.


5-6 March 2014

  • The Danish Maritime Authority controls the pressure of one of the vessel's fire hoses.
  • In the survey area, a port test is carried out on the scientific equipment of the vessel.


3-4 March 2014

  • The water pressure and the fresh water system are tested. The water system to the left and the UV filter for control of bacterium growth in the middle.
  • In the mess room the large touch screen has been installed. The tables are also in place.
  • The vessel seen from above.

Week 9 and 10: The quay tests are being conducted. The systems are tested and approved one by one.


28 February 2014

  • The A-frame is being tested with a load of over six tonnes.
  • The chimney is used for the first time.


21 February 2014

  • The forehold in front of the pantry (vessel's kitchen) is used for storage. A specially designed cupboard is manoeuvred out of the narrow room and modified before it is sent to the painter.


18 February 2014

  • Smoke from the chimney for the first time. All engines have been started and are now ready for fine-tuning. The engines must run for some hours on the quay before the vessel gets into the sea.
  • The compulsory diesel-driven emergency fire and bilge pumps are installed in the wetlab. The wall lining should be completely watertight.
  • The hydraulic control must be finished. The blue converter at the bottom to the right in the panel makes it possible to control the winches by means of a computer. Parts of the hydraulic have been tested, most of all with the purpose of ventilating the system.


11 February 2014

The floor is put down in the mess room. All floors are ready now, except those of the stairs.


6 February 2014

  • The exhaust system should be covered.
  • The main control panel is running - but only from current ashore.
  • The top tables in the pantry have been mounted.
  • The oak lining of the wheelhouse is almost finish.
  • In the wheelhouse, most of the instruments, radars, SRO, echo sounder, etc. are running. The instruments should be fine-adjusted.
  • The DP system has been mounted.
  • The SRO system is about to be tested and adjusted.
  • The sliding door to the wetlab is mounted. The big butts contain hydraulic oil which is about to be filled into the hydraulic oil tank. The cans contain refrigerant for the box radiators. Soon, all cables will be fixed.


4 February 2014

  • The A-frame is mounted with blocks, winches, etc.



24 January 2014:

Now, operating handles have been mounted. Skipper looks forward to using them…


21 January 2014

  • Soon, all cables will be fixed
  • The blacksmith works between the sound absorbers
  • All cables are placed carefully and fixed with metal strips
  • Welding of the anchorage of the hydraulic piston for the A-frame at the stern
  • Detail of the CTD door in wetlab is discussed
  • The chargers for the batteries and the emergency charger are placed in the low technician's room under the bridge
  • The night light to the survey area can be used above the working desk
  • Placement of cameras for supervision of the main engines in the engine room



14 January 2014

  • The first instruments are installed
  • The crane is fastened
  • Work in the engine room


13 January 2014

  • Kitchen units are in place
  • Work with the electrical panel
  • The a-frame is finished in the repair facilities

1 January 2014


The construction of Aurora is in progress just as planned. The violent storms have not had any consequences for the construction of the vessel. It has been lying behind the lock in Hvide Sande at Jutland’s west coast, but however it has been secured with extra bow line. A series of great circumstances such as good planning, excellent craftsmanship combined with successful weather in general has meant that the work has been carried out satisfactorily and the schedule has been followed. Only few problems have occurred. There is no doubt that the experiences among the crew at the yard are of great importance. Several employees have practical sailing experience from the fishing and merchant navy which implies that great practical solutions are incorporated in the vessel. 

The employees work in many different sections of the vessel at the same time. The accommodation area begins to take shape, almost all berths are in place and cupboards and closets are currently being installed. The work in the wheelhouse is also far in progress. The ceiling and walls are finished, and we are working to make a cover for the windows and to finish the control desks.  

In the engine room the piping system and the large exhausts are about to be in place. Now the work of making the deck (floor) in the engine room has just begun. Gradually, as the piping systems are finish, they are being tested, but they cannot be subject to a final test, before they are completely finished. There are many systems that should function: pressurised air, vacuum air, bilge drainage (three systems), fire extinguishing systems (three systems), ballast system with five tanks, freshwater system with watermaker, water purification, double waterworks and three tanks, wastewater accumulation with pumps and three tanks, fuel system with five tanks, offline fuel purification, transfer pumps, hydraulics system with crane, CTD boom, four winches, A-frame, salt water system for laboratories, cooling systems for engines, gear, hydraulics, ventilation systems, etc., heating with engine heat, oil-fired boiler and heat pump, etc.

We are currently planning the many tests which will be made, partly to reveal errors (very few, hopefully), and partly to document that the systems function as expected. The first tests are called HAP (Harbour Acceptance Tests) and as the name suggests these tests must be performed while the vessel is at quay. Later, ‘seatrials’ will take place at sea. In addition, training exercises, demonstrations and tests of the vessel’s safety equipment and fire extinguishing equipment should be made to obtain an approval by The Danish Maritime Authority and subsequent commissioning of the vessel.   It will be interesting to see which problems and challenges we get when the whole vessel is being tested and all machinery is ready to operate. 

The construction work is followed closely by the project group and the counsellors, and the Skipper Torben Vang stays at the yard in Hvide Sande three-four days a week to follow the construction process thoroughly.

The project group also works to obtain an improved operation of the vessel. The project group has held a meeting with Aarhus Harbour, and now the vessel has achieved a berth close to Aarhus Stream’s outlet to the sea which appears to be an excellent place. In addition, the project group makes agreements on the access to a small storage area at the harbour and other practical details.

The summer and autumn 2014 will probably be an extremely active period with many exciting expeditions with the vessel. An operation group has been set up to handle the vessels’ operation and economy, and there is already a great demand for ‘vessel time’. This year will be marked by great earnings, and generally it seems that the vessel gets a really good start in its work for Aarhus University and the sea research in Denmark.


31 December 2013

  • The wetlab has been supplied with door and window.
  • In the accommodation room, the ceilings, walls and windows are finish.
  • Skipper's cabin.
  • Walking area in the accommodation space.
  • The small hut which the shipyard has put at AU's disposal during the construction phase is situated very close to the vessel!


30 December 2013

  • The big sound absorbers take up much space in the engine room.
  • A small peep to some of the many pipes in the engine room. This reflects the extent of the systems on the vessel.



12 December 2013

  • Aurora in its berth by the shipyard at Hvide Sande
  • The desks in the wheelhouse will soon be finished. The ceiling is fully assembled. Light and ventilation systems have not yet been installed in the ceiling.
  • In the foremost chamber with room for four persons, the berths and one of the cupboards have been mounted.


5 December 2013

  • The vessel has now been equipped with masts and big headlights
  • Work with the accomodation space in a chamber
  • Placement of windlass and decision on where to place the chains and wires on the foredeck
  • Every night, a small seal arrives to its "night's lodging" at the building berth in Hvide Sande


6 November 2013

  • Work with the framing of the windows
  • In the wetlab, the CTD boom is now in place
  • Engines, gear and part of the pipes have been installed in the large engine room
  • In the engineering passage down on the bottom of the vessel, the tank pipes fill up



23 October 2013

  • The control desks are in place in the wheelhouse. The technical challenges are clarified with employees from the shipyard



7 October 2013

  • AURORA's two propellers and two rudders are mounted. The propeller heads weigh 375 kilo each. Afterwards she is on her way back into the water...


30 September 2013

  • A technician from Reson installs a sub bottom profiler and a multibeam sonar.



27 September 2013

  • In the autumn, Aurora was on shore for three weeks to get its rudder and propellers mounted. Moreover, scientific measuring equipment should be mounted at the bottom.



17 August 2013

  • AURORA arrives to the harbour in Hvide Sande.



15 August 2013

  • After some delay due to a minor accident at the bridge, Aggersundbroen, AURORA and DANASUND are on their way back through the river, Limfjorden.

14 August 2013

  • AURORA and DANASUND laid by the town Nørresundby during the night and continues westwards in the Limfjorden.

13 August 2013

  • AURORA is now on its way up through the Kattegat. Then the vessel sails through the river, Limfjorden.

12 August 2013

  • AURORA on its way to Hvide Sande, towed by the tug boat, DANASUND. At present, it is laying by Helsingør and is expected to reach Hvide Sande on thursday or friday, depending on the weather.


10 August 2013

  • The tug boat, DANASUND, has come to get AURORA, and they are now heading towards Denmark. Detachable lights have been mounted for use in the night, and the tanks are filled with ballast water to make the vessel completely stable when it is towed. On the photos, the vessel draws 2.4 metres! (Click on the pictures to see them in full size).



7 August 2013

  • The big day arrives when AURORA is lifted out from the shipyard and is launched for the fist time. This is done by the shipyard's big crane. The vessel is still without accomodation, engines and equipment. The zinc anodes which should protect the vessel against corrosion, are clearly seen under the water line. (Click on the pictures to see them in full size).



9 July 2013

  • The shipyard in Poland has soon finished the steel work. Roughly speaking, the work is divided into three phases: phase number one is includes prospecting, planning, approvals (ship owner, authorities, etc.), phase number two includes building of the hull (steel work) and the last phase includes equipping. This means that the vessel is 2/3 finished by now. When it is painted, it will be towed to Hvide sande. Here, the vessel's four engines will be mounted together with the entire accomodation. The electrical equipment, heat and cooling systems, pantry, instruments, scientific equipment should also be installed there.

(Place the mouse over the pictures to see the caption. Click on the pictures to see them in a bigger image).


  • The construction of the vessel has been observed closely, partly by use of shipbuilding experts and partly through own inspections. The AU has inspected the shipyard at least once a month. Many small things have been corrected during the phase, and lots of decisions have been taken at the shipyard in Poland. It is also nice to observe that plenty of safety equipment has been used during the building, e.g. helmets, ear protectors, shielding, racks, ect. The ship group consisting of Peter Grønkjær, Hans Røy, Henrik Fossing, Per Trinhammer and Torben Vang, are all researchers from the AU and used to the sea. And they are all secure about the fact that the hull has been built in Poland.

10 June 2013

It is beginning to look like a real vessel!


(Place the mouse over the pictures to see the caption. Click on the pictures to see them in full size).


6 May 2013

  • Now the hull has the correct orientation, but still a lot is missing.


(Place the mouse over the pictures to see the caption. Click on the pictures to see them in full size).