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Science at Sea: Meeting Future Oceanographic Goals with a Robust Academic Research Fleet
state-of-the-art sonar, while remaining adaptable for future technological upgrades. The capability to operate in high latitudes and high sea states will also be required.
Because technology changes rapidly and ship lifespans are long, future academic vessel designs need to be general purpose and highly adaptable to changing science needs. Specialized ships will also be needed for some disciplines, with designs that are well matched to disciplinary needs while also being available for limited general purpose work. Trends toward increasing beam, length, draft, and displacement and the economy of scale present in larger hulls suggest that investments in larger, more capable vessels in any size class are preferred.
The current Navy ship acquisition process does not emphasize inclusion of the scientific community in decision making regarding academic ship design and specifications. Development of the NSF-sponsored ARRV has benefited from community-driven ship design, allowing the users to participate more fully and create optimal designs for the cost constraints.