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Science at Sea: Meeting Future Oceanographic Goals with a Robust Academic Research Fleet
SCIENCE-DRIVEN SHIP DESIGN REQUIREMENTS
The future science trends and technology advances that will drive oceanographic ship design have been described in Chapters 2 and 3. These have been synthesized into a matrix (Table 4-1). Several of these needs are unique to certain disciplines and are potential design requirements that should be assessed carefully in general purpose oceanographic ship design. Other needs are more universal; for example, the ability to collect seawater samples throughout the water column is important for most of the oceanographic disciplines. Specific design considerations driven by the listed needs are discussed in the following sections.
Handling equipment overboard and onboard will continue to be of paramount importance, to allow for the safety of personnel, equipment, and the ship itself (Figure 4-1). Trends indicate that handling equipment must be able to operate effectively and safely up to sea state 6. General purpose oceanographic research ships require a permanently installed suite of winches (direct pull and traction) to perform conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) type activities, deep tow, coring, and trawling missions. To expand the environmental operating window, active heave compensation has been incorporated on a number of recent ship designs. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) jointly funded a 2004 workshop to consider future handling systems.1 Recommendations from that workshop were used in motion compensation systems installed on the Regional/Coastal class Sharp (Figure 4-1B,C), the Ocean class Kilo Moana, and the system designed for the Alaska Region Research Vessel (ARRV). It is likely that active heave compensation will be considered for all future University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) vessels.
Gliders, autonomous underwater and unmanned aerial vehicles (AUVs and UAVs), and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) often require specific deployment and recovery procedures and equipment (e.g., Figure 4-1A). Although systems vary, deployment is usually much easier than recovery. While UAVs now use catchlines for recovery, advancements in remote aircraft are likely to change significantly in the future. Current oceanographic vessels, especially the larger classes, have high freeboard that makes recovery more difficult for offboard equipment. Requirements for damage stability2 and personnel safety in desired higher sea state