Future Research Vessel

In this article

  1. The Future Research Vessel
  2. Future Research Vessel Project

Future Research Vessel Project

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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.

The regional seas and oceans which wash our shores are the focus of increasing research attention, particularly the Southern Ocean which may hold the key to understanding the role of the ocean in global climate.

Research is vital to the sustainable development and management of the ocean, and to understanding its influence in the region and around the world.

The new vessel will operate from the tropical north to the Antarctic ice-edge and across the Indian, Southern, and Pacific oceans, greatly improving Australia’s 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.

The Marine National Facility provides Australia’s only dedicated blue-water research vessel capable of operating in our vast ocean territory.

CSIRO has a 25-year track record in managing the Marine National Facility and RV Investigator will provide a step-change in blue-water research capability available to Australia’s marine research community.

The shape of future voyages

The vessel’s design will feature a core backbone of permanently fitted sampling, data acquisition, management, presentation and communication systems including winches, acoustic mapping and environmental monitoring devices.

Research teams will be able to add purpose-built systems to support their own investigations, such as:

  • radiation and trace metal laboratories
  • deep-water dredging
  • coring and drilling devices
  • fishing nets
  • towed camera systems
  • remotely operated vehicles.

Researchers also will be able to integrate vessel-acquired data with data from satellite sensors, autonomous vehicles and shore based models in real time.

This expansion of Australia’s ocean research capacity will also deliver increased opportunities for participation in important international research programs which are vital to understanding marine and atmospheric processes on a global scale.

Read current information on the Future Research Vessel Project at the Investigator@CSIRO blog [external link]