It seems to be certain that a huge variety of activities will be established in the Arctic in turn of global warming in the coming decades. These activities comprise fishery, tourism, cargo shipping and resource extraction mainly taking place in Arctic waters, at coastal areas and at shore. As history shows, these activities often suffer from a complicate supply of skilled personnel, insufficient infrastructure and not suitable tools for use in harsh environment, which are significant obstacles towards a cost efficient setup of required hubs supporting the ‘conquering of the Arctic’.
IMPaC has taken the chance of participating in the European funded joint research project ACCESS (Ref. ) to develop a concept for the modular establishment of stations in the Arctic: MODARC (MODular ARCtic Hub). The basic module of MODARC shall act as initial hub providing fundamentals like accommodation, energy, communication in a safe and secure way. The hubs shall be self-sufficient for an extended kick-off period and operable conforming to a zero-emission policy, which IMPaC has already met during projects for the Caspian Sea (Ref. ).
The basic modules are operable right after installation allowing supporting the establishment of further specialized activities serving the various means of activities mentioned above. Thus, the character of each settlement will be case (project) dependent but comparable in its basic concept. Paramount advantage of the MODARC concept is the idea of producing the floating modules in worldwide benign conditions like harbors or wharfs allowing testing and certifying each module prior to send out and installation at location. Even personnel can be trained before or during the shipment to the operation location — just like it is usual e.g. in Aerospace technology.