New research vessel offers unique opportunities for European marine studies

July 7, 2003

Brussels, 04 Jul 2003

A new marine research vessel, outfitted with the world's most advanced technology, has been launched as part of the EU's large scale infrastructure facility in Bergen, Norway.

The vessel, called 'G.O Sars', has been developed for the purpose of carrying out research, on behalf of Bergen's marine food chain facility, into marine ecosystems, particularly in the areas of marine resources, geology resources and the development of climatic and oceanographic conditions. It represents a new generation of marine research vessels, as it is equipped with a combination of functions normally found on individual specialised trawlers.

With its vibration and noise-damped diesel generators, as well as its propellers driven by direct-current motors, the vessel is capable of emitting 99 per cent less noise under water than conventional research vessels. This means that the fish that are being registered by the vessel's acoustic instruments are not scared off, giving the scientists better biomass measurements of the fish in the sea.

In addition to its normal computer communications, the vessel is equipped with broadband technology, cable television and satellite facilities, enabling high speed and high quality data transmissions. With such hi-tech devices allowing better data resolution, scientists can also carry out a more detailed study of individual fish, thus gaining better knowledge of the marine environment.

G.O Sars is also equipped to take core sediment samples from 25 metres beneath the seabed, while a special echo sounder can examine sediments as far below the seabed as 150 metres. The vessel can also perform seismic surveys with the aid of towed air guns and hydrophones.

Such advanced technology and facilities may explain why G.O Sars was recently awarded Ship of the Year, by Norwegian Trade Minister, Ansgar Gabrielsen,

The vessel's first expedition is expected to take place during the summer of 2004, and will be used to examine the organisms that exist along the mid-Atlantic Ridge and 4,000 meters below the surface.

For further information, please visit:
http://www.uib.no/forskningsfartoy/engli sh/index.html

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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