For most people, besides seeing these vessels in movies, they really don’t know what they do. So, let’s start at the beginning, marine research vessels are observational platforms that are equipped with tools and technology which scientists use to explore the ocean and its environs. Here are a few things you should know about them:
- Marine research vessels are built to face tough environmental conditions because of the volatility of sea weather.
- Back in the 1700s, James Cook, who was commissioned to study planetary movements, is said to have been one of the first people to actually use a research vessel.
- Research vessels can be easily distinguished by their external aesthetics. For the most part, they are fitted with cranes and winches that allow it to handle small underwater vehicles and nets.
- All Marine research vessels have to be armed with accurate and precise navigation because oceanographic sampling needs to be precise in terms of time and location.
Across the board, Marine Research Vessels are used for exploration and that is why they are often equipped with piscatorial equipment to capture the underwater data.
Functions of Marine Research Vessels (MRVs)
Marine Research Vessels are used to study and explore the patterns of marine life-forms that are situated in different water zones. They aid the detailed analysis of water bodies as such, their construction and composition are typically based on their operational needs.
Below are the main purposes and functions that Research Vessels serve.
1. MRVs for Oceanographic Research
Oceanographic research studies the marine environment and sea properties. The research vessels used here aid in the study of the biological, physical, and chemical properties of the water and its surrounding atmosphere.
These vessels further provide safety platforms for scientific divers and are also capable of carrying unmanned underwater vehicles. They are usually equipped with piscatorial equipment to aid in the proper documentation of all findings.
2. MRVs for Polar Research
The accessibility of arctic regions in recent times has made it economically interesting, so it’s no surprise that there is now a sudden drive to research these regions. For the most part, polar Research Vessels have a similar design to a typical ice breaker. Their construction enables them to navigate through ice covers and operate in polar waters like the Arctic and Antarctic regions for the purpose of typical hydrographic, fisheries, and oceanographic research. More so, the reliability of these research vessels is incredibly vital since they also serve as supply ships for researchers based in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
3. MRVs for Oil Research
Marine Research Vessels also play a huge role in oil research, in fact, there are special ships created just to research the possibility of discovering oil beneath the seafloor of specific regions so they can be drilled. These ships are considered to be mobile drilling platforms because they can be used to cover different areas of the seabed when the need arises.
In terms of oil research, these vessels can equally be used as offshore vehicles and they don’t only aid oil exploration, but they also hold supplies for a range of construction and excavation units located on the high sea.
4. MRVs for Fisheries Research
It’s only logical that marine research vessels be used by scientists who study fisheries. The overall design of these vessels is similar to what you’ll find on a large fishing vessel, but there’s a provision made for laboratories and equipment storage. They should typically be able to tow different types of fishing nets and also collect water samples from different depth ranges, collect plankton, and convey acoustic fish-finding equipment.
5. MRVs for Hydrographic Survey
Using hydrographic surveys, nautical charts can be produced and further used by navigating officers to plot routes on the sea surface when moving from one point to another. The information gathered through this type of survey is not only used for producing charts but is also handy when detecting features that show signs of inhibiting oil or gas. They can also be used to detect faults in the seabed which helps seismic scientists in their line of research.
Altogether, hydrographic survey vessels use a towed structure when mounting equipment and as such, can be used to perform multiple roles, such as oceanographic research.
6. MRVs for Military Research
Sometimes, the military engages in investigations that require some underwater scanning. While doing this they may need to check for strategic dangers like submarines as well as explosives and mines. The vessels used by the military for this type of research have to be equipped with special equipment which includes but are not limited to mine detectors and sonar detectors.
If one thing is evident at the end of this, it’s that ships are not just designed for the sole purpose of warfare and profitability, but also for research. You see, there are various forms, knowledge, and treasures buried in the ocean bed that need to be explored and that’s why Marine Research Vessels are important.