With the arrival of RV Investigator into its home port of Hobart, there have been lots of questions about the ship and who will be able to use it.
Investigator is the new Marine National Facility (MNF) research vessel. The MNF is a blue-water research capability, funded by the Australian Government and managed by CSIRO on behalf of the nation. It comprises:
- a blue-water research capability
- a suite of scientific equipment and instrumentation
- a collection of more than 25 years of marine data, and
- the governance, expertise and systems required to manage blue-water research and support research vessel users.
The MNF is available to all Australian scientists and their international collaborators, with access granted on the basis of proposals that are internationally peer reviewed, and independently assessed for science quality and contribution to the national interest.
Applications for sea time are typically called two years in advance of a financial year voyage schedule. The process involves primary applications to set the voyage schedule followed by supplementary applications to make best use of the vessel.
Here’s a great image of the all of the voyages undertaken on board the previous Marine National Facility research vessel, Southern Surveyor.
It’ll be amazing to see where Investigator goes over the next decade!