This beautiful photo of Southern Surveyor at dusk, in port in Hobart, was taken recently by Terence Ong.
We’ve just taken delivery of RV Investigator’s very own gravity meter. How cool is that!
This amazing piece of equipment will be permanently fitted to the ship and has its own gyroscopes, which allow the instrumentation to stay still while the ship rolls and pitches through the waves. This is important because the gravity meter is able to measure very small changes in gravity and we want to remove the roller coaster effect of the ocean!
We need to measure gravity at sea, because it tells us what lies beneath the sea floor and how the Earth’s tectonic plates have moved. Different kinds of rocks, for example volcanic or sedimentary, have a different gravity effect, the denser the rock the greater the gravity effect, and because of these differences, we can work out what the Earth’s continental and oceanic crust is made from.
Understanding how the Earth’s crust forms in the oceans is important because it helps us to discover where there are minerals and resources, and it also helps us to understand the changing dynamics of the ocean, like undersea earthquakes and tsunamis.
We’ve only mapped 12 per cent of the seafloor in Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone and this will be the first permanently fitted gravity meter for Australia’s Marine National Facility research vessel, so we have a lot of work to do!
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The fabulous, new TRIAXUS, to be used onboard RV Investigator, has been given the once over by Dr Lindsay Pender, all the way over in Denmark!
The factory acceptance testing is part of the process for the purchase of Group 2 Equipment for the Future Research Vessel Project.
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In 2010 His Royal Highness, Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, toured the Marine National Facility research vessel Southern Surveyor and met some of the incredible scientists who have work onboard.
Check out the photo gallery!
A small function was held in Hobart to farewell Southern Surveyor.
Scientists, support staff, crew and the team from the Marine National Facility and the Future Research Vessel Project gathered at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
The Director of the Marine National Facility, Ron Plaschke, welcomed everyone and Dr Bernadette Sloyan (CSIRO Wealth from Oceans), Don McKenzie (MNF Ships Group), Matt Sherlock (CSIRO Science, Engineering and Technology) and John Boyes (P&O) told a few stories about their time onboard the ship.
RV Investigator is so awesome when it comes to communications, it will be capable of live-via-satellite TV interviews from almost anywhere in the world.
The only restriction will be the availability of a satellite signal, and these days there aren’t too many places where this is a problem.
The communications domes, which are about the same size as the weather research radar, have been delivered, lifted and installed on Investigator.
And, they’ll be doing so much more than just TV interviews (it’s just that I’m really excited about this capability)!
The domes will allow those onboard to keep in touch with work colleagues via email and video conferencing, to send data, photos and videos of the work happening onboard the ship, and to allow everyone keep in touch with family and friends.
These gorgeous little domes will make it possible to communicate from onboard the Marine National Facility research vessel, like we’ve never been able to before.
Australia’s Marine National Facility (MNF) is managed under the direction of a Ministerially appointed Steering Committee.
It’s this group that oversee the operation of the MNF including how money is spent and what research teams are successful in gaining sea time on the ship.
The current members are:
- Professor Craig Johnson (Chair) – Director, Marine and Antarctic Futures, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
- Professor Richard Arculus – Department of Earth and Marine Sciences, Australian National University
- Mr Graham Peachey – CEO, Australian Maritime Safety Authority
- Mr Greg Paten – Strategy and Planning Manager, Exploration, Woodside Energy Ltd
- Mr John Gunn – Chair, Ocean Policy Science Advisory Group
- Ms Toni Moate – Deputy Chief – Science Operations, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
The Steering Committee usually meet twice a year and the recent meeting in Hobart was a happy but sad affair, with three members retiring from the roles, Professor Craig Johnson, Professor Richard Arculus and Mr Greg Paten.