Research capabilities planned for the new vessel will include:

  • deeper swath-mapping to determine seafloor bathymetry, influences on ocean currents, ecosystem structures and sub-sea resources
  • higher-resolution shallow water mapping for ecosystem structure
  • deeper and more efficient biological sampling through improved winches and the use of fibre-optic cables
  • deploying coring systems at greater lengths and depths allowing scientists to venture further back into the climate record
  • improved ship-to-shore communication bandwidth that will enable virtual voyages where scientists can participate in a voyage from ashore.

The new vessel will be capable of operating continuously for 60 days at sea, cruising at 12 knots over a range of 10 000 nautical miles.

It will be engineered to adapt to support a broad range of sophisticated scientific activities by multi-disciplinary teams.

The new vessel will be capable of operating continuously for 60 days at sea.The vessel is expected to accommodate 40 scientists and support staff and will provide a safe working environment in the world’s most challenging oceans, from the Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica’s ice edge, to the cyclones of Australia’s tropical north.

Research teams will be able to add purpose-built systems to support their own investigations, such as:

  • radiation and trace metal laboratories
  • deep-water dredging, coring and drilling devices
  • fishing nets
  • towed camera systems
  • remotely operated vehicles.

Researchers will also be able to integrate vessel-acquired data with data from satellite sensors, autonomous vehicles and shore based models in real time.