Welcome to Port Celebrations for RV Investigator!

We are pleased to advise that a date has been set for the official Welcome to Port Celebrations on Friday 12 December 2014 for the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.

The day will be a celebration of the collaboration, foresight and hard work invested by Australia’s marine science community over the past decade, and in particular CSIRO’s management of the Future Research Vessel Project, which culminated in the delivery of the world class research vessel to its home port of Hobart just a few weeks ago.

At the event the ship will formally be handed over from the CSIRO’s Future Research Vessel Project to the Marine National Facility, for use as Australia’s ocean going national research vessel.

The event will be held at the CSIRO Marine Laboratories in Hobart, where a formal function will be held, followed by an open day for the general public. Further details for these events will be sent in the coming weeks.

We welcome everyone to be part of this celebration, but if you can’t make it in person you can join via social media and online through the Investigator@CSIRO blog, all of which will be updated with photos and videos across the day.

We look forward to seeing you at the celebrations.

Toni Moate
Executive Director, Future Research Vessel Project


Sounding out the ghosts of the depths

Sounding out the ghosts of the depths.

Cool science education worksheets and animations for school kids!

RV Investigator aerials 02092014(675x452) 6

We’ve got some great science education activities and animations for school kids, all about the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.


Work sheets:

Why don’t you download them and give them a go!

So what science can be done on board Investigator?

RV Investigator

Australia’s new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator, is so jam packed full of scientific equipment we have produced some fact sheets, so you can read about all of the capabilities.

There are five categories: oceanographic research, geoscience research, biological research, atmospheric research and ship specifications:

RV Investigator has a computer network to wow you with!

RV Investigator’s sophisticated computer network is in the final stages of fit out on board the ship.

A team of specialists have designed an impressive network for the new Marine National Facility research vessel.

The computer network has several really important roles. Firstly it’s to collect data from a vast array of scientific equipment, from the CTDs, to the TRIAXUS, to the weather research radar. It’s also there to keep everyone safe via a system of cameras, which will enable the science operations to be viewed from a number of locations on board, and it also keeps everyone connected to the rest of the world, via an impressive satellite communications system.

How wired are we talking? Here are some stats on the on board system, to wow you with:

  • 8 central servers
  • 30 cameras monitoring ship operations
  • 58 TB of central scientific storage (yes Terabytes!)
  • 100 telephones
  • 1,000 network outlets
  • The network is built on a fibre optic backbone with a 10 Gbps core switch, and 1 Gbps edge switches (wow!)
  • Investigator will have a 512kbps VSAT data link to shore for email, internet, voice, video, remote support services as well as enabling live science data transfer.


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3D images of the MV Lake Illawarra shipwreck in the Derwent River

The group within CSIRO that will operate the sea floor mapping equipment on board RV Investigator are called the Geophysical Survey and Mapping Team.

In addition to their work on the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator, they have recently acquired the EM2040c, which is a small, mobile, high resolution multibeam echo sounder, or a shallow water sonar.

The equipment is new to the team, and is part a suite of technology the team has available to Australian researchers for use in coastal research.

Matt Boyd and Stuart Edwards from the GSM Team and Andrew Pender from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies went out in the IMAS vessel Morana to calibrate the EM2040c and mapped the shipwreck of the Lake Illawarra.

MV Lake Illawarra was a 135 metre long bulk carrier that is currently lying in 34 metres of water on the southern side of the Tasman Bridge, in the Derwent River in Hobart, Tasmania.

CSIRO Geophysical Survey and Mapping - Lake Illawarra shipwreck 2 CSIRO Geophysical Survey and Mapping - Lake Illawarra shipwreck CSIRO Geophysical Survey and Mapping - Lake Illawarra shipwreck 3

Something for all the shipping industry rev heads!

I know there are lots of people dying to know the specifications of Investigator’s engines!

RV Investigator's engines

Here’s the nitty gritty of the new Marine National Facility research vessel:

  • Diesel engine: M.A.K  9 M25C  [3 off ],  Inline 9 cylinder ; 4 stroke cycle ; operating on marine gas distillate oil [output power = 3,000 kw].
  • Exhaust Gas Turbocharger KBB  – HPR 6,000
  • Max speed 34,600 rpm
  • Plain bearing type, with forced lubrication from the engine lube oil sump and gear pump.
  • The rotor is driven by exhaust gas energy via turbine inlet housing & the turbine nozzle ring.
  • It is equipped with a single stage radial flow turbine and compressor.
  • The turbine has reaction blading arrangement, this being a set of fixed nozzle guide blades that direct the exhaust gas onto convergent rotor blades where the pressure drop occurs and  the exhaust gas turbine is driven by the reaction force.

To put it in simpler terms…

Investigator is powered by three diesel electric engines that generate around nine megawatts of power. The average Australian home uses about 18 kilowatt-hours per day, which means Investigator could power a small suburb or a country town!


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