Explore the

The vessel

CCGS Amundsen

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Amundsen is Canada’s only icebreaker equipped with state-of-the-art research facilities in support of national and international multidisciplinary research programs. Previously known as the Sir John Franklin, the vessel underwent scientific retrofit to an Arctic research icebreaker in 2002.


The vessel, with its pool of equipment, is adapted to answer the evolving needs of the national and international Arctic research community.


scientific systems at the cutting-edge of technology


onboard and portable laboratories and workspaces available


m2 of wet and dry workspace to perform chemical and biological experiments, to analyze sediments and to prepare the deployment of autonomous instruments

Our pool of equipment

Scientific equipment

Amundsen Science’s pool of scientific equipment is tailored to answer the needs of our large user community, and is ever-evolving to remain at the cutting-edge of technology. It includes a variety of nets, profilers, coring instruments and autonomous and remotely operated vehicles. A dozen of cranes, A-frames and winches allow for the safe and efficient deployment of the most sophisticated oceanographic samplers, while a variety of hull-mounted sensors collect bathymetric and physical data continuously during the Annual Amundsen Expedition. Scientific sampling can also be carried out from the barge, the zodiac, and the helicopter.

Scientific equipment


A drone can be deployed by trained pilots from the CCGS Amundsen, and allows for aerial surveys and experiments. The DJI Mavic 3 Pro drone has a long range of autonomy, and records 4K videos.

Scientific equipment


Scientists can extend their range of operation from the CCGS Amundsen by using the Bell429 helicopter. The helicopter can be used to efficiently access land, glaciers and icebergs, and can also serve in case of an emergency.

Scientific equipment


The zodiac is an auxiliary vessel that can be deployed rapidly and efficiently to access coastal and marine environments. The zodiac is used to retrieve autonomous floats, to deploy moorings, and to conduct various sampling.

Scientific equipment


The barge is a flat-bottomed auxiliary vessel that can be used to access shallow coastal environments. A small winch allows for the deployment of various samplers and profilers. A highly precise multibeam echosounder mounted on a pivoting arm allows mapping the seafloor with great resolution.

Scientific equipment

Moving Vessel Profiler

The Moving Vessel Profiler (MVP) consists of a fish-like profiler equipped with a variety of sensors towed behind the vessel while transiting. The Conductivity-Depth-Temperature (CTD) sensor, oxygen sensor, transmissiometer and fluorometer measure physical, biological and chemical parameters of the water column with high spatial resolution. 

Scientific equipment

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is a robotic submarine equipped with a variety of physical and bathymetric sensors. Once deployed from the icebreaker, the Huggin AUV is autonomous for up to 24h. It can adjust its own buoyancy to follow a prescribed itinerary in the ocean and under sea ice, while mapping the seafloor with a resolution in the order of the centimeter.

Scientific equipment

Remotely Operated Vehicle

Our remotely operated vehicle (ROV) named ASTRID is a cutting-edge instrument deployed and controlled in real-time from the vessel to study the subsea environment. As a Subatlantic Comanche light work class ROV system, ASTRID is equipped with two 7-function arms, a variety of HD cameras and sensors and a versatile skid for specimen collection. Our second ROV named ASTRO is a small BlueROV2 available for subsea observations in coastal environments. It is equipped with HD cameras and can be deployed in environments up to 300 m deep. Amundsen Science’s arsenal of submersible vehicles are designed to support multisectoral Canadian and international marine research and to assist in ground-breaking subsea exploration.

Scientific equipment


The Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) profiler and rosette sampler is one of the most important instruments for physical and chemical oceanography. It is equipped with a variety of sensors to measure physical, biological and chemical parameters of the water masses, and collects seawater samples across the water column. Up to 288L of water can be collected in a single deployment.

Scientific equipment

Box Corer

A box corer is an instrument for the collection of soft sediments and benthic organisms from the surface of the seafloor. The sediments brought back onboard are almost unperturbed, which allows the geologists to study the sedimentation processes of the recent past.

Scientific equipment


Moorings consist of a line of instruments and buoys deployed in the water column for a long time period. Once deployed, the sensors record data about the physical properties of the water masses, the currents, the biogeochemistry of the marine environment and the sedimentation process continuously for a selected period of time (generally about a year). Moorings provide unique datasets on the annual cycles taking place in the Arctic Seas.

Scientific equipment


A whole suite of nets can be deployed from the icebreaker. Plankton nets, such as the monster net and the multinet Hydrobios sampler, will be deployed for the determination of zooplankton and larval fish abundances and contaminant levels. Pelagic juvenile and adult fish can be sampled using an Isaacs-Kidd Midwater Trawl (IKMT) and benthic beam trawl.

Scientific equipment


Gliders are a type of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) equipped with a variety of sensors that can record ocean profile data autonomously for long periods of time. They propel themselves using changes in buoyancy.

Scientific equipment

Gravity and Piston Corer

Gravity and piston corers are long and heavy sediment samplers used to retrieve meters-long cores of seafloor mud sediments. Both types of corers allow geologists to understand the sedimentation processes of the last millennia, including the past climate dynamics. A piston corer typically allows the collection of longer cores due to the presence of a triggering mechanism.

Scientific equipment

Meteorological sensors

The CCGS Amundsen is equipped with a suite of meteorological sensors operating continuously during the expedition. In addition to recording data about the wind and air masses, the sensors also collect information about the sky irradiance and heat exchanges.