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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Investigator’s scientific sea trials are about to begin!

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.

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




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