Cool science education worksheets and animations for school kids!

RV Investigator aerials 02092014(675x452) 6

We’ve got some great science education activities and animations for school kids, all about the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.


Work sheets:

Why don’t you download them and give them a go!

So what science can be done on board Investigator?

RV Investigator

Australia’s new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator, is so jam packed full of scientific equipment we have produced some fact sheets, so you can read about all of the capabilities.

There are five categories: oceanographic research, geoscience research, biological research, atmospheric research and ship specifications:

RV Investigator has a computer network to wow you with!

RV Investigator’s sophisticated computer network is in the final stages of fit out on board the ship.

A team of specialists have designed an impressive network for the new Marine National Facility research vessel.

The computer network has several really important roles. Firstly it’s to collect data from a vast array of scientific equipment, from the CTDs, to the TRIAXUS, to the weather research radar. It’s also there to keep everyone safe via a system of cameras, which will enable the science operations to be viewed from a number of locations on board, and it also keeps everyone connected to the rest of the world, via an impressive satellite communications system.

How wired are we talking? Here are some stats on the on board system, to wow you with:

  • 8 central servers
  • 30 cameras monitoring ship operations
  • 58 TB of central scientific storage (yes Terabytes!)
  • 100 telephones
  • 1,000 network outlets
  • The network is built on a fibre optic backbone with a 10 Gbps core switch, and 1 Gbps edge switches (wow!)
  • Investigator will have a 512kbps VSAT data link to shore for email, internet, voice, video, remote support services as well as enabling live science data transfer.


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Something for all the shipping industry rev heads!

I know there are lots of people dying to know the specifications of Investigator’s engines!

RV Investigator's engines

Here’s the nitty gritty of the new Marine National Facility research vessel:

  • Diesel engine: M.A.K  9 M25C  [3 off ],  Inline 9 cylinder ; 4 stroke cycle ; operating on marine gas distillate oil [output power = 3,000 kw].
  • Exhaust Gas Turbocharger KBB  – HPR 6,000
  • Max speed 34,600 rpm
  • Plain bearing type, with forced lubrication from the engine lube oil sump and gear pump.
  • The rotor is driven by exhaust gas energy via turbine inlet housing & the turbine nozzle ring.
  • It is equipped with a single stage radial flow turbine and compressor.
  • The turbine has reaction blading arrangement, this being a set of fixed nozzle guide blades that direct the exhaust gas onto convergent rotor blades where the pressure drop occurs and  the exhaust gas turbine is driven by the reaction force.

To put it in simpler terms…

Investigator is powered by three diesel electric engines that generate around nine megawatts of power. The average Australian home uses about 18 kilowatt-hours per day, which means Investigator could power a small suburb or a country town!

What’s a giant soccer ball doing on top of Investigator?

RV Investigator's weather radar

Sure the top dome looks like a soccer ball, but in fact it’s a dual-polarisation C-band Doppler weather research radar!

A what?

Check out this animation and it’ll explain some of the awesome things about the radar on board Australia’s new marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.

Transcript: Weather radar on RV Investigator



RV Investigator’s very cool container laboratories

The Marine National Facility has a number of container laboratories available for use on board RV Investigator:

HAZMAT locker
A specialised container for the bulk storage of toxic, corrosive and flammable chemicals. Substances that can be stored include concentrated acids (e.g. sulphuric acid, formaldehyde, formalin, ethanol and acetone.

Laboratory Clean Container
Specialised container for conducting trace metal work. It can be used for chemical and biological oceanography, atmospheric science and geosciences.

Radiation Laboratory
A specialised container for using of low level radioisotopes.

CTD storage container
Specialised clean container for the storage of the trace metal CTD rosette.

Coring storage facility container
A container to store all of the long and short sediment core equipment

It’s the coolest carry-on luggage ever!

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The arrival of RV Investigator has sparked so many questions!

With the arrival of RV Investigator into its home port of Hobart, there have been lots of questions about the ship and who will be able to use it.

Investigator is the new Marine National Facility (MNF) research vessel. The MNF is a blue-water research capability, funded by the Australian Government and managed by CSIRO on behalf of the nation. It comprises:

  • a blue-water research capability
  • a suite of scientific equipment and instrumentation
  • a collection of more than 25 years of marine data, and
  • the governance, expertise and systems required to manage blue-water research and support research vessel users.

The MNF is available to all Australian scientists and their international collaborators, with access granted on the basis of proposals that are internationally peer reviewed, and independently assessed for science quality and contribution to the national interest.

Applications for sea time are typically called two years in advance of a financial year voyage schedule. The process involves primary applications to set the voyage schedule followed by supplementary applications to make best use of the vessel.

Here’s a great image of the all of the voyages undertaken on board the previous Marine National Facility research vessel, Southern Surveyor.

It’ll be amazing to see where Investigator goes over the next decade!

Applying for sea time


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