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!
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.
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.
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.
The new Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator seems really big, but how much does it weigh?
Turns out it’s a lot!!
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.
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!
Since Investigator arrived in Hobart in early September we’ve been really busy fitting out $6.7 million worth of scientific equipment, from one end of the ship to the other.
Now it’s time to go out for scientific sea trials on the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator, to check all of the gear works to its optimum capacity and to also get some training on how to operate the scientific equipment from the manufacturers.
There are some really cool bits of gear that we’ll be testing on the first voyage, including the sonar that maps the sea floor, the TRIAXUS, the radon detector and the gravity meter.
The ship is scheduled to be back in port in Hobart on 1 November, when we’re going to do a fast turn around, and head back out to sea on the same day, with a whole new group of vendors.
On the second sea trial we’ll be testing and calibrating the research trawling capability, deep water sea floor core sampling, and more sonar like the sub-bottom profiler, which is able to collect data up to 100 metres into the sea bed.