The first data from the TRIAXUS is collected on a trial voyage!

Oceanographers seek to understand the dynamics of the ocean and observe changes across seasons and over decades, to better understand weather, climate and how changes impact fisheries, offshore infrastructure and coastal developments.

The TRIAXUS system is a towed undulating CTD system which can collect data up to three kilometres behind the ship, and to depths of 350 metres, in an undisturbed environment. It carries electronic sensors that measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, oxygen, light levels, the wavelengths involved in photosynthesis, turbidity, and the quantity of phytoplankton.

On the recent trial voyage, the first TRIAXUS data was collected off northern Maria Island, on the east coast of Tasmania, and out and over the continental shelf.

The data shows the complex structure of a wisp of warm East Australian Current surrounded by cooler water.

Check out the very cool photos and data!


Look who’s back in town!

This afternoon Investigator arrived back at the CSIRO Wharf in Hobart from its first trial voyage, which has allowed the crew and scientific support staff to test equipment and develop safe working procedures on board.

The new Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator will be in port for the next few days.

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Heading out for the first trial voyage on board Investigator

Over the next few weeks Investigator will be heading out to sea for a few days at a time, to allow the crew and scientific support staff to test equipment and develop safe working procedures on board.

The biological oceanographic equipment the team will be working with on this voyage includes:

  • the continuous plankton recorder (CPR)
  • CTD (remember this stands for Conductivity, Temperature and Depth)
  • EZ net, which has ten separate nets that can be opened at a different depth to collect plankton
  • Bongo net
  • Rectangular mid-water trawl net

Collecting samples with nets allows scientists to monitor the health of the ocean and what lives in it, from plankton and invertebrates, to larger fish.

Investigator departed earlier this week and will return to Hobart on 17 November.

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Great looking ship!

Max McGuire from the Marine National Facility’s Ships Group has been out taking some gorgeous photos of  RV Investigator in port.

Check out the images!

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Investigator back in port for a few hours

The new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator popped back into port in Hobart on the weekend, to drop off vendors from the first scientific sea trial.

As the ship came into port, Mike Jackson, the MNF’s Project Manager, snapped the ship as the weather started to clear.

Just a few hours later the ship headed back out to sea with a new group of vendors and scientific support staff, who will be testing and calibrating more equipment.


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How much does Investigator weigh?

The new Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator seems really big, but how much does it weigh?

Turns out it’s a lot!!

RV Investigator

There are a couple of key weights we need to measure:

Lightship Displacement – 4343 tonnes
This is the amount of sea water the ship displaces without anything on board, like  fuel, water, stores, people, non-permanent scientific equipment. In simple terms, this is what the empty ship would weigh if you put it on a set of scales.

Deadweight – 1550 tonnes 
This is the total amount weight that can be carried on the ship, including fuel, water, stores, people, non-permanent scientific equipment etc.

Maximum Displacement – 5893 tonnes (the sum of the two weights above)
This is the maximum weight the ship is allowed to be, for stability and safety reasons.

The other common weight you may see is Gross Tonnage (GT ) –  6082 tonnes.  This is a volumetric measurement in cubic metres of all internal  spaces within the ship and is used for registration and revenue purposes, in particular port related charges.  This was known as Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT).

At lightship displacement the ship’s draft is 5.1 metres and at maximum displacement the draft is 6.2 metres. The draft is measured from the deepest part of the keel (bottom) of the ship and the gondola sits 1.2 metres below the keel.


Investigator departs on its first scientific sea trial!

Early this morning the new Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator departed the CSIRO wharf in Hobart, on its first scientific sea trial.

Check out the photos!

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