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Research vessels (R/Vs)

Research vessels can be anything from small boats for near-shore work to very large ships capable of oceanic research lasting several months at sea. They provide a mobile platform for marine research and can carry a wide variety of sampling and surveying equipment. Most research vessels have laboratory space on board so that researchers can begin to analyze the material they collect during a cruise. Some of the more advanced ships have special diesel electric engines that minimize noise that may scare away fish and marine mammals. The Census of Marine Life utilizes a variety of different research vessels including icebreakers that are specialized for getting researchers into unique frozen marine habitats.

The R/V G.O. SARS (named after a famous Norwegian oceanographer, George Ossian Sars), used by the MAR-ECO project, is one of the most advanced research ships in the world. (Institute of Marine Research; see full-size image -- 76K) The R/V ATLANTIS is used by the ChEss project as well as many other oceanographic research programs. (Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems Project - ChEss; see full-size image -- 44K)

Research vessels provide a home and launching base for manned submersibles such as the NAUTILE, pictured here, and other deep-diving vessels. (Daniel Desbruyères, IFREMER, France)

The decks of research vessels can become congested with the large amount of equipment used to study the oceans. (Gulf of Maine Area Program - GoMA; see full-size image -- 75K)

Click on the links below to see what Census projects use this technology:

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