Falkor (too) Update

The R/V Falkor (too) refit period is nearing completion as the team has added science equipment to the vessel and the newly blue and white ship has entered initial sea trials. There have been many milestones in recent months – the completion of the outdoor lounge, the addition of Starlink, and the integration of ROV SuBastian into the vessels’ hangar. We have added a new two-story outdoor lounge structure overlooking the aft deck, providing a meeting space and viewing area for work taking place on the aft deck. We are excited to be testing Starlink – the Low Earth Orbiting satellite system for improved communication over the Ocean. ROV SuBastian has been integrated onto a 35-ton rated A-Frame and now resides in its new home inside the vessel’s main hangar.

To learn more about the refit process, watch the latest episodes in the Making of a Research Ship video series on the labs and ROV mission control room. Check out recent photos from the refit and sea trials below.

Another exciting achievement was the outfitting of pipes for a two-level seawater system. The pipes have ultrasound transducers to prevent marine animals from growing inside them, a state-of-the-art system and one of the first known applications of this technology for a science seawater system. Many of the eight labs onboard R/V Falkor (too) will have access to uncontaminated seawater, potable hot and cold water, microplastic sampling water, deionized water, and chilled and incubator seawater.   

In addition to seawater, dried, compressed and filtered air outlets have been added to each lab. Alongside the outlets, spare gas lines were installed, so scientists have the ability to bring other gases like hydrogen and nitrogen for experimentation. The ship will also have three +4C fridges, four -30C, and two -80C freezers making for approximately 10,993 liters of cold storage. The walk-in cold laboratory shelf space adds another approximate addition of 3,552 liters of cold storage. 

The ROV Mission Control Room is nearly complete, and has been built out as a sophisticated space for managing ROV and other robotic operations. The new design has more space than R/V Falkor but maintains the collaborative environment of the original control room.

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