Expedition collaborating with NASA concludes
March 6, 2017
The Sea to Space Particle Investigation used multiple new instruments during a 25 day expedition across the Pacific exploring a wide variety of oceanic ecosystems. The focus of chief scientist Dr. Ivona Cetinic´, USRA/NASA, and her multidisciplinary team of oceanographers, engineers, biologists, and computer scientists was to explore ocean particles, and more specifically the tiny phytoplankton that make up the base of our food web. The team will use the collected information to ground-truth satellite observation of ocean color (influenced by phytoplankton), in order to better understand the processes each planktonic community carries out with regards to the carbon and nitrogen cycles.
Mapping Reveals Evolution of Underwater Landscapes in the Johnston Atoll
Over 11,000 square kilometers of the ocean floor were mapped in high-resolution for the first time. Using multibeam sonar on RV Falkor, a team generated detailed maps of portions around the remote Johnston Atoll Unit (JAU) of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM).
Artist-At-Sea Exhibit Opens in Honolulu, Hawaii
The first exhibit featuring a collection of work from the Artist-At-Sea program opens in Honolulu, Hawaii. The showcase of painting, photography, music and film is work from internationally recognized artists who have spent time aboard the research vessel Falkor. The exhibit travels through 2017, including shows at: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; America’s Cup Bermuda; Newport, Rhode Island; and the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii.
ROV SuBastian Searches for Life in Hydrothermal Mariana
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) SuBastian has a very successful first scientific cruise during the “Searching for Life in Hydrothermal Mariana” expedition, gathering samples and data around the Mariana Back-arc. The study also confirmed that the Back-Arc ecosystems are distinct and different from the nearby Volcanic Arc hydrothermal ecosystems, supporting the idea that geological and chemical environment play a key role in selecting animal community composition at hydrothermal vents.
First Instance of UAV carrying scientific instruments flown from a ship without the help of a catapult or launching system.
During the Study Of The Sea-Surface Microlayer and Air-Sea Boundary (2016) expedition, the HQ-60B model Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) completed its first science mission, taking instruments away from Falkor to undisturbed waters and bringing them back safely. This was the first time UAVs carrying scientific instruments were launched from a ship without the help of a catapult or launching system.
ROV SuBastian Completes Sea Trials
Virtual Reality Technology Reveals Underwater Vents in New Ways
Scientists aboard R/V Falkor during the Virtual Vents expedition develop the first 3D model of an entire hydrothermal vent field for Virtual Reality, covering the largest area of seafloor ever imaged in such a manner.
Exploring New Land Using High-Resolution 3D Mapping
The crew of Falkor teamed up with NASA and Columbia’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory to create an integrated view of the three dimensional character of the new island – from the seafloor to its approximately 130 meters tall summit above sea-level at a spectacular meter-scale resolution.
SOI discovery ``Engineers Ridge`` officially named
Named after the unsung heroes of science at sea who keep ships running, the underwater feature was discovered during an SOI science expedition in the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in November 2014. R/V Falkor technicians mapped and measured Engineers Ridge at 4.5 kilometers x 3 km (99 miles x 1.86 miles) and a maximum depth of 4,100 meters.
Several Hydrothermal Vent Sites Discovered
During a transit from Guam to Honolulu, Leslie Reed is the first Artist-at-Sea participant to journey on R/V Falkor, making photographic imagery that is influenced by the content and pH of the seawater where the exposure was made.
Several Hydrothermal Vent Sites Discovered
The Hydrothermal Hunt at Mariana expedition onboard R/V Falkor more than doubled the number of known hydrothermal vent sites in the Mariana Back-arc region. Another highlight was the discovery of an extremely rare, recently-erupted underwater lava field that was likely only a few months old.
SOI Selected As Top Innovator
July/ August, 2015
Schmidt Ocean Institute is selected as the Editor’s Choice top Five Stand-Outs in the Marine Technology Reporter’s annual Top 100 innovators in the maritime industry.
SOI Holds Their Second Research Planning Workshop
Schmidt Ocean Institute holds its second Research Planning Workshop “Transforming Seagoing Science with Robotic Platforms, Innovative Software Engineering, and Data Analytics”.
Falkor’s First Seismic Profiling Cruise
Falkor conducts her first seismic profiling cruise in Indonesia, acquiring 17,597 square kilometers of high-resolution maps of the Mentawai Gap off the west coast of Sumatra. These maps allow scientists to better model potential tsunami impacts produced by an expected underwater earthquake in this region.
In the News
ROV Dives at Scott Reef
A cruise aboard Falkor collects high resolution data on the physical and biological dynamics of Scott Reef in the Timor Sea using Falkor’s 300 meters depth remotely operated vehicle. All 16 of the dives totaling 77 hours are broadcast live from the ship to Schmidt Ocean Institute’s YouTube channel.
In the News
Development of New Robot Tracking Tool
A new visualization tool for tracking multiple vehicles is developed aboard Falkor by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) so anyone can view robotic deployments in real time from a smartphone. Collected images using the robots are uploaded to a citizen science photo tagging project, where over 22,569 reef images are tagged by the public.
Coordinated Robotics Cruise
Eight underwater and surface robotic vehicles are deployed simultaneously off of Falkor as part of the first coordinated robotics in the Timor Sea of the northwest corner of Australia. This cruise allows engineers from the Australian School of Field Robotics to build towards leaving groups of robotic vehicles unattended to accomplish tasks such as seafloor mapping.
In the News
First Ever ROV Survey of Perth Canyon
Schmidt Ocean Institute hosts aboard Falkor the first remotely operated vehicle survey of Perth Canyon off Perth, Australia to conduct baseline studies of deep corals. New coral species are discovered and many organisms are observed in Western Australian waters for the first time.
In the News
Installation of First High-Performance Computer on a Research Vessel
Schmidt Ocean Institute installs the first high-performance cloud computing system on an oceanographic research vessel that will enable data storage and processing capabilities not previously available to scientists at sea.
Discovery of World’s Deepest Fish
First Research Planning Workshop
Schmidt Ocean Institute’s first Research Planning Workshop “Critical Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Shipboard Oceanography in the Next 3-5 Years” is held in Hawaii.
Falkor’s Maps One of the World's Largest Marine Protected Areas
Falkor maps 127,000 square kilometers of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, about 35% of one of the world’s largest marine protected areas. These bathymetric maps are later used for remotely operated vehicle dives where several new fish and invertebrate species are found.
First Research Symposium
November 1-2, 2013
Schmidt Ocean Institute holds its first Research Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
HROV Nereus is Used on Falkor
For the first time, hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, is deployed in support of an oceanographic research project – exploring hydrothermal vent fields at the Mid-Cayman Rise. All dive videos are live streamed and recorded in perpetuity on YouTube.
In the News
First Maps of Campeche Escarpment
For the first time, over 20,000 square kilometers of the largest geological feature in the Gulf of Mexico, Campeche Escarpment, are mapped with Falkor.
First Year of Scientific Operations
Schmidt Ocean Institute’s first full year of committed scientific operations, Falkor transits over 11,000 nautical miles throughout the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
Science Verification Cruises
Extensive sea trials and science verification cruises conducted on Falkor to test and calibrate embedded systems and scientific equipment. Trials and cruises took place across the Atlantic Ocean from Germany to Norway, across the Atlantic Ocean, down the east coast of the United States and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Falkor is Named
March 6, 2012
Falkor officially receives her new name in a re-naming ceremony at the Peters Schiffbau Shipyard in Wewelsfleth, Germany.
Remarks on renaming by Eric Schmidt:
Remarks on renaming by Wendy Schmidt:
2010 – 2012
Schmidt Ocean Institute operates the ocean-going vessel Lone Ranger in support of oceanographic research in the Atlantic Ocean and in the waters of Bermuda and Bahamas.