UNSW to lead voyage on Research Vessel Investigator
Come September, researchers, ship and marine enthusiasts may have the opportunity to see and explore the Research Vessel Investigator, a new state-of-the-art research vessel cleverly designed as aship for all the sciences.
From 30 August, UNSW and Sydney Institute of Marine Science will lead a 19 day voyage on the RV Investigator to explore the fisheries ecosystems of the western Tasman Sea – from production to predation. The voyage will travel from Brisbane to Sydney, docking at the Garden Island naval yard on 18 September.
The RV Investigator is Australia’s only blue-water research vessel, available to the Australian marine and atmospheric research community and their international collaborators for work in Australia’s vast ocean territories. The Marine National Facility, which operates the RV investigator, is owned and managed by CSIRO on behalf of the nation.
The RV Investigator is designed to support a vast array of scientific investigations across meteorology, deep ocean coring; trawling; atmospheric sciences; biological, physical and chemical oceanography. At 94 m long and 6,000 tonnes, RV Investigator is capable of supporting 40 scientists or technical staff and 20 crew for up to 60 days at sea. Applications for sea time are assessed based on excellence of the proposal; applicants’ track record; and national benefit.
The RV Investigator is well-equipped for sea-based research—whether sorting tiny larval fish under a microscope, or operating a flow cytometer with laser beams operating at micron precision. The superstructure is dominated by a distinctive 2 tonne ball – the weather radar – to study wind and cloud formation, and the all-important processes behind the tropical monsoon. Beneath the hull is a “gondola” with over a dozen acoustic sensors, including a swath mapper that produces beautiful 3D images of the seafloor, down to 6,000 m.
The sophisticated vessel is necessary to support the $40 billion a year “Blue Economy”, which is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2025. With a new 140 m long icebreaker arriving next year, Australia is becoming a maritime force to be reckoned with.
For a virtual tour, visit http://mnf.csiro.au/