R/V Sally Ride: major scientific instrumentation installed
17 May 2016 -- The Research Vessel (R/V) Sally Ride passed another milestone today with a successful re-floating following the installation of the ship's major scientific instrumentation. The installation required the ship to be drydocked in order to work on sensors mounted on the hull beneath the waterline, and had been lifted high and dry in the shipyard in order for engineers to access the bottom of the hull.
Work on board was fast and furious while out of the water for two-and-a-half weeks, a period that involved the installation of two seafloor mapping systems, a state-of-the art midwater imaging system used for fisheries research, a suite of acoustic doppler current profilers, an acoustic tracking system, and through-hull penetrations where scientists can lower sensors of their own into the water beneath the ship. Some of these sensors are massive, more than three feet wide and twenty feet long, and weighing thousands of pounds.
The picture above shows R/V Sally Ride on the shipyard syncrolift, which lowers the vessel slowly back into the water atop a platform that uses a series of synchronized winches to move up and down. Once safely afloat, the ship is eased out into the channel and moored alongside the shipyard wharf, where construction activities will continue through May and into June.
When delivered after construction, R/V Sally Ride will be is operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography under a charter agreement with the Office of Naval Research. Owned by the U.S. Navy, R/V Sally Ride will be operated within the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System as a shared-use research facility.