The 94 m research vessel, RV Investigator, is available for multidisciplinary research in the oceans and seas around Australia.
RV Investigator was commissioned in 2014-15 to replace the 66m Southern Surveyor. Investigator has a greater range and can carry more scientific personnel than Southern Surveyor, enabling research to be carried out to the Antarctic ice-edge.
The Marine National Facility is based at CSIRO’s Marine Laboratories in Hobart, Tasmania, which is also home port for the research vessel.
The RV Investigator is able to accommodate up to 40 scientists, go to sea for up to 60 days at a time and spend up to 300 days of the year at sea on research voyages. Special features of the ship are a “gondola”, similar to a winged keel, mounted 1.2 m below the hull, and two drop keels (which can be lowered to a maximum of 4m below the hull), to carry scientific instruments below the layer of microbubbles created by the movement of the ship’s hull through the water. Such instrumentation includes acoustic mappers and a pelagic sediment profiler to produce maps of the sea floor. The hull and the machinery of the ship have been designed to operate as quietly as possible to enhance its scientific capabilities.