What’s been happening on the maiden voyage?

Some of the scientists on board the Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator for the maiden voyage, are from The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR), including Eric Schulz and Alain Protat.

Eric has been writing a blog on the CAWCR website at http://www.cawcr.gov.au/inv/

Here are the entries from the past few days!

Sunday 22nd March 2015

Yesterday, the RV Investigator started its maiden voyage, heading to the Southern Ocean to deploy high-precision deep-water moorings which will form part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and provide information that has global significance for climate research.

RV Investigator aerials 02092014(675x452) 5

Anchored to the ocean floor 4.5 kilometres below the surface, the equipment will spend the next year recording precise hourly readings of temperature, salinity, acidity, biological activity, ocean currents, nutrients and atmospheric conditions. Data collected at the surface will be relayed back to scientists in Hobart by satellite.

RV Investigator - maiden voyage preparations 5

The project is a partnership between the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC (ACE CRC), CSIRO, the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

CAWCR will have two of their Bureau based scientists on-board during this landmark voyage (Eric Schulz and Alain Protat) who will be providing updates on the progress of the maiden voyage until their return on March 31st 2015.

Monday 23rd March 2015

Hi everyone,

After the first two days of feeling queasy while doing trials in Storm Bay just out of Hobart, and then heading on down South West to the mooring site, things looked up with most of the science party in the swing of things, busy setting up their equipment and getting to know the ship and daily routine.

A new ship on its maiden science voyage is proving a fun challenge.

The food, cabins and roll of the ship is different. There is a whole different labyrinth of corridors to negotiate, laboratories and decks to navigate, and new crew to meet (with some old familiar faces as well).

rv4

The weather has been kind with moderate conditions and some great sunsets. The photo is of the Sunset on Monday night which I managed to catch as an albatross flew past. This was at the mooring site located at 47S, 142E

Our first mooring was put in the ocean on Monday, a weather buoy – this will stay here until we return a year later. One buoy done, three to go!

Eric Schulz

Wednesday 25th March 2015

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Eric takes a brief break in his busy work schedule to take a quick selfie in the mooring sediment trap van (shipping container) while deploying the Pulse-11 bio-geo-chemical mooring. The mooring is equipped with a range of sensors to record waves, currents, temperature, salinity, oxygen, total gas tension, phytoplankton fluorescence, particulate backscatter and photosynthetically active radiation, as well as a sampler for the collection of weekly samples for dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, nitrate, silicate, and phytoplankton identification measurements.

Thursday 26th March 2015

Hi Everyone,

Over the last few days we have settled into the rhythm of carrying out science at sea. The ship runs around the clock with most of the activity occurring during daylight hours (when we can deploy and recover equipment). Night-time is devoted to automated data collecting or moving the vessel to new locations.

Here is a great animation that shows one way that we measure our oceans on RV Investigator

Activities are punctuated by three square meals a day – a good chance to come together and catch up on everybody’s activities around the ship – from the cloud radar and aerosol collection at the bow through the water filtering and spectroscopy down below and moorings on the back deck. The food is fresh and delicious, a constant struggle to not over indulge although some people manage to visit the gym.

Here is a photo of the crew that deployed the weather buoy. As you can see it takes a big team to get the gear in the water.

The crew the crew that deployed the weather buoy

We also had a visitor earlier in the week with a Salp stranded on the deck by a wave. This fish-jelly like creature is amazing and you can even see the Krill it had for breakfast in the photo.

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Lifting the huge Southern Ocean Time Series Mooring on board RV Investigator

Mobilisation for the maiden voyage for the Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator, continued today on the CSIRO Wharf in Hobart.

Check out the photos of one of the huge moorings being lifted on board with the main crane!

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Climate science collaboration takes to the sea on RV Investigator’s maiden voyage

THIS MEDIA RELEASE WAS DISTRIBUTED BY THE ANTARCTIC CLIMATE AND ECOSYSTEMS CRC AND THE INTEGRATED MARINE OBSERVING SYSTEM ON FRIDAY 20 MARCH 2015.

RV Investigator

Australian scientists venturing into the Southern Ocean aboard the Marine National Facility’s RV Investigator tomorrow will go armed with world-leading technology for understanding the basic forces driving climate change.

The high-precision deep-water moorings will form part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), providing information that has global significance for climate research.

Voyage Leader and researcher with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, Professor Tom Trull, said the project would be a big step forward for climate research, providing vital new insights into the relationship between the atmosphere and the oceans.

“The big unknown is whether the oceans can continue to absorb ever-increasing amounts of heat and carbon dioxide, or whether their capacity to provide these services will taper off,” Professor Trull said.

“This is important because the oceans work as a powerful brake on the rate of climate change by absorbing most of the additional heat and about half of the carbon dioxide produced as a result of human activities.”

“The world’s oceans are warming and acidifying faster than at any time in recorded history but the processes influencing these changes are not well known.”

“This equipment gives us an exciting new tool for understanding how the ocean and atmosphere exchange heat and carbon, and also how these processes impact ocean biology.”

Anchored to the ocean floor 4.5 kilometres below the surface, the equipment will spend the next year recording precise hourly readings of temperature, salinity, acidity, biological activity, ocean currents, nutrients and atmospheric conditions. Data collected at the surface will be relayed back to scientists in Hobart by satellite.

IMOS Director Tim Moltmann said the equipment would extend a valuable long-term data series for use by a large number of Australian and international research bodies.

“Data from these Southern Ocean moorings is helping Australian and international scientists fill in some of the largest missing pieces in the climate puzzle,’ says Mr Moltmann.

“The relationship between the oceans and the atmosphere is extremely complex, but with repeated observations over a sustained time period scientists can start to build up a much clearer picture.”

“This is Australian science is of global significance, made possible by strong national research collaboration,” Mr Moltmann said

The project is a partnership between the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC (ACE CRC), CSIRO, the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).


Mobilisation for the maiden voyage has begun!

The CSIRO Wharf in Hobart is a hive of activity with equipment and supplies being loaded for the maiden voyage!

RV Investigator - maiden voyage mobilisation

The maiden voyage is a collaboration between CSIRO, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, the Integrated Marine Observing System, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.

The Chief Scientist leading the voyage is CSIRO’s Professor Tom Trull.

 

 


What’s the MNF Steering Committee been up to?

RV Investigator's cold water trial voyage

The Marine National Facility Steering Committee met in Hobart on 20 February this year, just days after Investigator returned from a very successful cold water sea trial in the Southern Ocean to 65 degrees south.

The Steering Committee discussed a range of strategic issues such as the development of a new business model to maximise use of Investigator, options for increasing student training on MNF voyages and changes to the applications process to ensure that all science undertaken through the MNF has more clearly defined national benefit.

If you’d like to read more about what the Steering Committee discussed then you can download the full communiqué from the MNF’s website!


Looking back at the FRV Project and forward to Investigator’s maiden voyage!

It’s been an incredible journey for the Future Research Vessel Project Team and the hundreds of scientists, support staff, designers, builders, suppliers and manufacturers who’ve contributed to the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.

In a matter of weeks Investigator will embark on its maiden voyage.

Why don’t you check out the video that tells some of this story!

Construction of RV Investigator transcript

 

 

 

 


Cool photos from the Antarctic ice-edge taken on board RV Investigator

On the recent voyage to the Antarctic ice-edge on board the Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator, one of our IT specialists, Stewart Wilde took some great photos.

He also managed to capture the Aurora Australis, which was  no mean feat while on a moving research vessel!

Check out the very cool photos! (pun intended)

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