The weather research radar on the monkey island!

Also located on RV Investigator’s monkey island is the main mast, which houses a weather research radar.

Scientists hope to answer some of the big questions about weather, climate, and the atmospheric conditions in remote areas of the world’s oceans with the a dual-polarisation radar.

It will collect cloud and weather data from clouds towering 20 kilometres over the tropical ocean to cold ice storms in the Antarctic, in a 150 kilometre radius from the ship, and will have a broad range of research applications.

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Communications equipment on Investigator’s monkey island

Investigator’s communications equipment is located on the monkey island.

From the drawings of the ship you can see where the domes are located.

RV Investigator's communications domes RV Investigator's communications domes

Investigator has a 512kbps VSAT data link to shore for email, internet, voice, video, remote support services, as well as enabling live science data transfer.

It is also capable of live via satellite interviews to most television stations and studios globally.

RV Investigator's communications domesRV Investigator's communications domesRV Investigator's communications domesIMG_4476 2RV Investigator on scientific sea trials

Investigator’s Observation Deck!

Did you know the highest accessible point, other than the masts on board a ship, is called the monkey island?

RV Investigator’s monkey island includes a number of key pieces of scientific and communications equipment and an Observation Deck.

The Observation Deck was designed for scientists to observe whales, dolphins and sea birds.

Check out the photos of the construction and fit out of the Observation Deck!

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Manoeuvring Investigator!

Now you know how Investigator is a cool research vessel? Well it’s just about to go up further in your estimation.

One of the tricky things for the Master to do on board the Marine National Facility research vessel, is to manoeuvre the ship from the bridge, while the scientists on the back deck are giving instructions, as to what’s going on with a piece of scientific equipment.

Sure there are plenty of cameras showing the Master what’s happening, but wouldn’t it just be easier if the Master could manoeuvre the ship from the back deck, standing right next to the scientists?

Of course it would, and that’s just what will be possible on board Investigator!

Investigator has two plug in points on the back deck for a piece of equipment called a cJoy, that will allow the Master to use the rudder, engines, bow thruster, propulsion motors and propellers.

Here’s a photo of one of Investigator’s Masters, Mike Watson, trying out the cJoy mobile unit on the back deck, during the scientific sea trials, with Steve Thomas looking on.

Testing the cJoy on the back deck of RV Investigator

The two plug in points on the back deck for the mobile unit are shown in this diagram. RV Investigator's back deck, indicating the cJoy plug in points

There are actually two cJoy systems on board the ship. One is permanently mounted on the starboard wing of the bridge and the second is located on the port side wing of the bridge and also doubles as a mobile unit that can be plugged into sockets on the back deck.

The images below will show you where the mobile cJoy unit is located on the port side wing of the bridge.

RV Investigator's cJoy permanent location

RV Investigator's cJoy permanent location

How cool is that!

Investigator covered in pyjama stripes!

From one end of the ship to the other, up and down the stairs, along the corridors and into the laboratories, the ship is slowly being covered in pyjama stripes.

Well that’s what it looks like to me!

The blue striped material has been rolled out, in an effort to protect surfaces throughout the ship.

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The Master’s quarters onboard RV Investigator!

There has to be some advantage to being the Master of Australia’s new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.

Check out the accommodation and adjoining meeting room for the ship’s Master!

The Master's quarters onboard RV Investigator The Master's quarters onboard RV Investigator The Master's quarters onboard RV Investigator The Master's quarters onboard RV Investigator


RV Investigator’s electronics workshop

There are a range of support staff who go to sea on board the Marine National Facility research vessel, to help scientists achieve their research outcomes.

This includes electronics technicians.

To enable these specialists to do their work, RV Investigator has a dedicated electronics workshop.

RV Investigator's electronics workshop

RV Investigator's electronics workshop RV Investigator's electronics workshop

RV Investigator MAAPing Australia’s oceans!

Atmospheric scientists aboard RV Investigator will be able to measure the amount of black carbon in (soot) in aerosols in  the atmosphere with the Multi Angle Absorption Photometer (MAAP).

RV Investigator's multi angle absorption photometer (MAAP)

The MAAP passes air samples though filter paper where aerosols are collected and then measured by the change in absorption of light caused by the black aerosol particles on the filter.

RV Investigator's multi angle absorption photometer (MAAP)

Data collected using this equipment will help us to better understand the atmosphere and how particles change the way that light is absorbed by the atmosphere.

The data collected from the MAAP will contribute to reducing the uncertainties associated with the role of aerosols in climate change.



RV Investigator’s change room

On the main deck of RV Investigator there’s a dedicated change room that’s looking great!

RV Investigator's change room RV Investigator's change room

RV Investigator’s hospital!

Investigator has a hospital on board located on the 02 Deck Level.

RV Investigator's hospital

RV Investigator under construction RV Investigator under construction


Did you know that RV Investigator has three lounges?

You’ve seen the photos of Lounge 1, on board Australia’s new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator, and here’s a little reminder photo.

RV Investigator's main lounge

The lounges are located on the 01 Deck Level, which is also called the Focsle Deck.

In the image below, Lounge 3 has been highlighted, and you can see Lounge 2 next to it, and then on the other side of the Mess, is Lounge 1.  RV Investigator's Lounge 3

Here’s the latest photo of Lounge 3, which is now ready for some scientists, support staff and crew!  RV Investigator under construction

Topping things off – RV Investigator’s Observation Deck!

Almost at the very top of Investigator is an Observation Deck, which will allow scientists to study seabirds and whales.

RV Investigator's Observation Deck  RV Investigator's Observation Deck

RV Investigator under construction

Check out these incredible seabird images taken by the Marine National Facility’s Max McGuire, on board Southern Surveyor, in the Southern Ocean.

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MinuteEarth video on the Marine National Facility and Investigator!

MinuteEarth is a YouTube channel that tells awesome science stories.

CSIRO and the Marine National Facility have sponsored one of MinuteEarth’s stories about marine debris.

Wait until you see the animation of RV Investigator in the sponsorship section, it’s seriously cool!

Check it out by clicking on this image.

MinuteEarth - Ocean Confetti! video



What’s going on below the deck?

It’s been a while since we showed you photos of the spaces below the deck, on board Australia’s new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.

First up are two photos of the auxiliary machine room.

RV Investigator under constructionRV Investigator under construction

This is the engineer’s workshop on the first platform deck.RV Investigator under construction

The propulsion motors in the main machinery room.  RV Investigator under construction

The main diesel generators.

RV Investigator under construction

And part of the engine room.

RV Investigator under construction

Fast facts about RV Investigator

Investigator looking fabulous during her sea trials.

Investigator looking fabulous during her sea trials.

Australia has one of the world’s largest marine territories, much of which remains unexplored, with only one blue-water research vessel available to our marine research community. Here’s five facts about the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.

  • The ship was given the name Investigator after a national naming competition by 10-year-old student Clare Cameron and PhD student Kirrily Moore.
  • Investigator will be capable of spending 300 days a year at sea, each voyage will be able to accommodate up to 40 scientists.
  • The vessel is 93.9 metres, replacing the 66-metre vessel Southern Surveyor.
  • Investigator will be capable of operating continuously for 60 days at sea, cruising at 12 knots over a range of 10 000 nautical miles in a single voyage.

The new vessel will operate from the tropical north to the Antarctic ice-edge and across the Indian, Southern, and Pacific oceans, greatly improving our capacity to investigate and understand marine geological processes, detect and predict changes in the ocean environment and their implications for weather and climate and characterise and manage marine ecosystems, biodiversity and fisheries.

Late last year Investigator was moved from the wharf at the Sembawang Shipyard, in Singapore, into the water. The skidding took several days, as the hydraulic system used to move the ship across the wharf only moves at a snail’s pace, taking minutes to move just millimetres.


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