The Northern Lights

The Muurmanni State Technical University had a dream, that dream was to design and build cargo vessels that could travel the Arctic Sea no matter the time of year. As of right now however the University itself did not have the budget to undertake such a large project on their own. Their solution: spread out the cost of the project. To do this they needed to get other Universities, other Nations, onboard. So invitations were sent to the Arkhangelsk State Technical University and the Siberian Federal University, asking them to attend an academic conference in Muurmanni to discuss ideas for such a vessel and to work together to design, test, and build such a vessel.

The Arkhangelsk State Technical University would happily accept the invitation, sending Professor Yuliy Antonovich Fonvizin and Researcher Orya Maximovna Mitrofanova to attend the academic conference.

The Siberian Federal University agreed to attend the conference, sending a pair of Professors, Arkady Vasilievich and Viktor Ivanovic, to attend, from the engineering department.

The guests would be greeted and after getting them settled into their accommodations they would be led to the meeting room. There they would be greeted by Ábel Järvelä, the head of the Muurmanni Research and Engineering group in charge of the proposed project. He would greet them warmly and offer them some water before they got into the details.

He would ramble on slightly about the basic premise before cutting directly to the point. “We have two requirements to fulfill. One, it must be able to operate out of the Northern Ports and in the Arctic year round and two, we must have both a solid and liquid design. We would like to work with your respective Universities to design, test, and build such a vessel.”

Professor Yuliy would nod, the notebook with him having several sketches and notes from his own private works. “So we need a cargo vessel capable of shipping containers and another capable of shipping fuel year round. The easiest suggestion is icebreakers, but even those eventually have to stop. However, they’ll open up more of the winter season for shipping until the ice becomes too thick. They’d be easily the most compatible with existing infrastructure both in our states and foreign states.”

“The other option is cargo submarines. They’d need new infrastructure, more than likely, but they can operate the entire time by just going under the ice. We’d have to check on the stability of such a large vessel underwater, but it’s certainly a better option to fulfill the requirements. It’d require more R&D than the first option, but I’m sure our three universities could make it work.”

Professor Arkady considered the proposals, glanced at his associate, and upon seeing a nod from Viktor, he turned to the others, and spoke, “The cargo submarines sound most intriguing to my friend and I. There’s much wealth to be made by being able to maintain trade access to the Arctic Ocean year round, and it will be a large boon to our universities if we pulled such a research project off.”

“If nothing else, the funding redirected to our universities for further R&D would be worth it all by itself. The international prestige garnered by a successful project would also do wonders.”

Ábel Järvelä would nod, agreeing with the statements being said. “I am in agreement with the cargo submarine idea. It will fulfill all the requirements set. It would allow for all of the northern ports to be open up all year. Even better I think it might allow us to access the resources buried under the ice if we succeed.”