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Heading out on a trial voyage on board RV Investigator

With so many short voyages in and out of Hobart, it seemed like a great opportunity to show you the view from the bridge on one of the trial voyages.

Check out the time lapse video!

From a summer with telescopes, to getting your sea legs the hard way

Originally posted on News @ CSIRO:

selfieBy Mikayla Keen

I love my job. As a CSIRO communication advisor I get to work with amazing scientists, hear fantastic stories of discovery and innovation, learn new things… and get paid to do it.

I began my CSIRO adventure in 2009 as a summer student working at the Parkes Radio Telescope. At the final seminar I asked ‘how do I get a job here?’ and four months later I was a communication advisor supporting agricultural scientists working across the country.


Ah, back in the day. My first job at CSIRO was summer intern at ‘The Dish’.

That physics degree didn’t help me understand the work they were doing, but then the job isn’t about becoming an expert in the science. Being a communicator is all about listening, asking those silly questions and helping the scientist tell their story. The only trouble is there aren’t enough hours in the day…

View original 701 more words

Supplementary call for applications

RV Investigator - Trial voyage 1 (image MNF/Stewart Wilde)

The Marine National Facility supports Australian researchers and their international collaborators in carrying out research in Australia’s regional seas and oceans.  Under direction of an independent Steering Committee, the Marine National Facility is owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation.

Supplementary applications for sea time to utilise unused capacity on Research and Transit voyages on RV Investigator during 2015-16 and 2016-17 are now being requested.

RV Investigator

The MNF’s new, state of the art research facility, Investigator, is available for research in 2015-16 and 2016-17.  Investigator is a highly advanced research vessel with a broad range of scientific equipment to support marine scientists in the following disciplines:

  • oceanography and climatology
  • fisheries, marine ecosystems and marine environmental research
  • a wide range of marine geoscience
  • multi-disciplinary marine research

Supplementary application process > Supplementary applications are designed to utilise unused capacity on Research and Transit voyages and need to work within the constraints stated for those voyages or transits.

Supplementary call for applications for the financial Year 2015‑16 and 2016-17 > Australian marine researchers are invited to submit a supplementary application for use of Investigator during the period July 2015 to June 2017.

Area of Operations > The existing Research and Transit voyages will determine the geographic areas available for supplementary applications.

Closing Data for Applications > A Supplementary application for sea time must be submitted by 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time, Friday 23 January 2015.

Further advice and the Supplementary application form is available on the MNF website

RV Investigator - Trial voyage 1 (image MNF/Stewart Wilde)

Investigator makes light of heavy weather!

RV Investigator - scientific sea trials


Over the last few weeks companies supplying scientific equipment for the Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator, have been testing and calibrating gear and preparing the ship for research voyages in 2015.

The Director of the Marine National Facility Ron Plaschke said the trial voyages departed Hobart on 27 October and 1 November and on both occasions the weather turned for the worse with rain, hail, 50 knot wind gusts (Beaufort Scale 8) and seas of up to seven metres.

“The on board stabilisation system using internal anti-roll tanks works very well, and we were impressed with the way in which the ship handled in the rough weather,” said Mr Plaschke. Vendors from around the world and across Australia have been flying into Hobart for the sea trials, and some of the equipment being testing includes:

  • Sonar:
    • to map the sea floor to any ocean depth, a capability not previously available to an Australian research ship
    • a sub-bottom profiler that maps the composition of the sea bed to 100 metres below the sea floor, which will be used for resource research
    • fish finding sonar that operates to 3,000 metres, which will be used to study commercial fish populations
  • TRIAXUS – is towed behind the ship to collect data on phytoplankton, which indicates ocean health and productivity
  • Gravity meter – is able to detect changes in the substrate of the sea bed and can be used for geological structure and resource research
  • Trawling – the ship will be able to trawl to depths of 4,000 metres, a capability Australia has not previously had available, which we believe will lead to the discovery of species new to science
  • Coring of the seafloor – in shallow water and deep water (up to 8,000 metres of water)

“It’s exciting to head out to sea and test all of these capabilities and to start the process of training the crew and the support staff in how to operate the huge variety of scientific equipment on the ship” said Mr Plaschke.

From now until early December, Investigator will be in and out of Hobart on voyages that will give scientists and crew time to develop safe work practices and procedures, particularly for deploying equipment from the main deck.

Under direction of an independent Steering Committee, the Marine National Facility is owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation.

The Welcome to Port Celebrations for RV Investigator will be held on the CSIRO Wharf at Battery Point on Friday 12 December 2014, which will mark the official handover of the ship from CSIRO to the Marine National Facility, for operation.

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The first data from the TRIAXUS is collected on a trial voyage!

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!


Look who’s back in town!

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.

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Heading out for the first trial voyage on board Investigator

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.

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