International Journal
on Marine Navigation
and Safety of Sea Transportation
Volume 3
Number 2
June 2009
The Arctic Ocean represents an enormous reserve of
mankind for the most various aspects.
At first the Arctic Ocean is extremely favourable
sea way through all east hemisphere.
At second the Arctic Ocean is an enormous
source of natural resources, which use else begins.
The most active in part of development of Arctic
regions demonstrates Russia. The activity of Russia
in Arctic Ocean speaks parameters of load transpor-
tation by Northern sea way. Russia is the unique
country in the world which has the nuclear ice-
breaking fleet of ten units.
First nuclear ice-breaker "Lenin" has been construct-
ed at the Admiralty factory in 1959 years. The next
nuclear ice-breakers should be were building at the
Baltic factory of Saint Petersburg. The nuclear ice-
breakers "Tajmyr" and "Vaigach" have been con-
structed in Finland, and a nuclear stuffing was in-
stalled at the Baltic factory of Saint-Petersburg.
At time of industrial depression in Russia the nu-
clear ice-breaking fleet has been compelled to search
for sources of financing. For this purpose nuclear
ice-breakers twenty years make tourist flights to
North Pole.
Ice-breakers of a class "Arctic" make a basis of
the Russian nuclear ice-breaking fleet. Six ice
breakers from 10 concern to this class. This series of
a vessels was under construction during 30 years,
therefore the last of vessels have essential differ-
ences. The vessels of this type have characteristics:
Length - 150 m. - cancel fullstop (136 on a water-
Width - 30 m (28 on a waterline);
The draft - 11,08 m.;
The height - 55 m. - cancel fullstop (from keel)
up to top of mast;
The maximal speed - 23,8 knots;
Crew - 150 person
Passengers - 100 person (in 50 cabins)
Power installation two reactors ОК-900 capaci-
ty on 171 MW every.
These ice-breakers have the double body. Thick-
ness of the external body in places ice contact is 48
mm, and in other places 25mm.
At normal operating mode it is enough one of two
reactors, but during navigation are involved both (at
less than 50 % of capacity).
From 1989г. nuclear ice-breakers go to North Pole
with tourists. Cost of cruise makes about 25000 $.
Ice breaker "Yamal" (see fig.1) in july - august
specializes on tourism, having made already more
than 50 campaigns to a pole.
In 1998 years the nuclear ice-breaker "Arctic" for
the first time has carried out nearly pole ice posting
of German scientifically research ice breaker "Po-
larstern". At 2004 years the ice-breaker "Soviet Un-
ion" together with Swedish diesel ice breaker
"Oden" provided ice safety of chisel works on North
Pole from a vessel Vidar Viking”.
Contemporary Problems of Navigation Nearly
E.M. Lushnikov
Maritime Academy, Szczecin, Poland
ABSTRACT: The problem of navigation at geographical poles is considered. Means and methods of its reali-
zation are offered within the framework of classical navigation. Brings an attention to the question on produc-
tion of pseudomercator′s navigational charts.
Recently Russia and the USA have submitted for
consideration the United Nations a question on ex-
pansion of the shelf territories in area of Arctic
Fig.1 Nuclear ice-breaker “Jamal”.
For a substantiation of the claims Russia has
made researches in area of North Pole. It was im-
mersed on a bottom the deep-water device in a point
of North Pole. It was established at the bottom a
memorable sign of Russia from the titan.
Claims of a similar sort on expansion of territo-
ries of shelf zones are possible as on the part of Can-
ada, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. Similar claims
is explained by presence in the Arctic zone of the
big stocks of oil and gas.
Already practical development of Arctic ocean by
Russia in area of Shtokman oil field begins. All this
will inevitably lead to wider use of the Arctic water
areas for navigation and economic activities.
The navigation nearly of geographical poles has a
general difference to traditional navigation.
For the poles it is lose sense such major classical
concepts of navigation, as a meridian of observer, a
parallel of observer, a course of vessel, a bearing of
subject, rhumb line bearing, great circle bearing.
For single (exotic) expeditions there is long pre-
pare, all beforehand is thought over and rehearsed,
involved scientific forces and means.
In conditions of mass actions (development of sea
and bottom's resources) there is a question on the
maximal simplification of process of navigation in
these areas. It is necessary to make a navigation in
the maximal degree similar to conditions of usual
navigation with use of standard means and methods.
The greatest convenience for plotting gives the
map of Mercator projection. This projection is equi-
angular. The line of a constant course rhumb line
is represented on a map by a direct line. This cir-
cumstance does a work of plotting of a way extreme-
ly simple and convenient.
The main lack of such projection is so, that with
change of geographical latitude the scale of a map
changes proportionally to
, in this connection,
in latitude more 85º use of mercator projections is
inexpedient basically.
Difficulties of the Arctic navigation are not lim-
ited to problems of use habitual mercator maps.
In these latitude there is practically unsuitable a
gyrocompass. On a pole, a gyrocompass we shall
fail basically, and the concept of a course degener-
ates owing to absence of a meridian of the observer.
At navigation nearly magnetic poles which are
located far enough from geographical poles for nav-
igation there is completely not suitable a magnetic
compass. The directing moment of a magnetic com-
pass on a magnetic pole is equal to zero. From this
reason a magnetic compass is disabled. Here it is
necessary to notice, that by definition the magnetic
compass is a device for the indication of a magnetic
meridian. However in a point of a magnetic pole all
magnetic meridians is crossed. The concept for me-
ridian of observer from this reason is degenerates.
The position of northern magnetic pole for 1
January of 2005 year is situated at
WN 40114,7082
. The coordinates of a
southern magnetic pole for 1
january of 2004 year
ES 00138,5063
Nearly of magnetic poles the gyrocompass has a
admissible accuracy, and the map of Mercator quite
provides a requirements of navigation.
Apparently, usual navigation will be completely
paralysed only at geographical poles.
Classical navigation near to geographical poles it
is possible to provide by magnetic compass and
pseudomercator's map. Pseudomercator's map dif-
fers from mercator's map by the way of construction.
The axis of Mercator's cylinder passes through
the centre of the Earth and geographical poles. The
axis pseudomercator's cylinder passes through the
centre of the ground and a corresponding magnetic
pole of the ground (northern or southern).
Thus, the angle between axes of Mercator's and
pseudomercator's cylinder is equal to the polar dis-
measured from a geographical pole up to
the corresponding magnetic pole (fig. 2).
Fig. 2 The projection cylinder for Mercator's and Pseudomerca-
tor's maps а Mercator's projection, b Pseudomercator's.
The turn of the projective cylinder at pseudomer-
cator's projection leads to respective alterations of
the habitual image of a ground surface which was
observed at mercator's map. These changes, howev-
er, do not render a special influence on perception of
a map through navigator, so as habitual mercator's
projection also deforms the form of terrestrial ob-
jects and the more strongly, than they are closer to
The polar cap at a geographical pole from a paral-
and above excludes use of Mercator maps
and a gyrocompass.
At the pseudomercator's projections this polar cap
is situated outside the new restrictive circle.
It will allow at navigation near to geographical
poles to use a pseudomercator's map in aggregate
with a magnetic compass and to continue navigation
as usual.
Thus, means allowing to carry out classical navi-
gation at subpolar areas look how it is shown in ta-
ble 1.
Table 1 Means of classical navigation at navigation in subpolar
Kind of water area
Near to a magnetic pole
Near to a geographical pole
1. Navigating
Mercator's chart
2. Gyro compass
1. Navigating
pseudomercator's chart
2. Magnetic compass
Realization of classical navigation near to geo-
graphical poles demands new type of a map, namely,
maps in pseudomercator's projection.
The grid of such pseudomercator's projections by
the form will differ nothing from a grid of mercator's
projections, but coordinates of all points of a surface
of the ground should be in appropriate way counted.
The coordinates of magnetic poles on surface of
earth changes position. For example, the point of
northern magnetic pole recently will annually get
mixed up on a terrestrial surface approximately 40
km. In this connection, it is required to trace periodi-
cally these changes and to bring corresponding cor-
rections for recalculation of a map's grid. For elec-
tronic maps this procedure does not represent any
Here it is necessary to notice, that magnetic poles
are located far from being in opposite points of the
Earth. This circumstance compels to make a grid of
pseudomercators map for northern geographical pole
and southern pole in separate execution.
The role of a true meridian at pseudomercator's
map will be carried out a line directed on magnetic
pole. As well as in mercator's map, vertical lines of a
cartographical grid are considered as true meridians
from which true courses and bearings are consid-
A sizes of variations
for pseudomercator's
map should be rendered in view of a changed coor-
dinate grid. The formula for finding of the amend-
ment to recalculation of variation
enters the
name as:
( )
= ctgecctgarcctgV sincoscos
- polar distance of a magnetic pole;
- geographical latitude of the ship;
- the difference of geographical longitudes of
a magnetic pole and the ship.
Unification of plotting at use of pseudemercator's
maps allows to avoid navigating discomfort at navi-
gation in areas of geographical poles, to remove un-
necessary stressful situations and by that to raise
safety of navigation.