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Campus Currents May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Scripps Ship Comes In

Science on the high seas began for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego in 1904. In the decades that followed, Scripps mariners have logged millions of nautical miles across the world’s oceans. A recent announcement ensures that Scripps’ seagoing legacy continues long into the future.

The U.S. Office of Naval Research selected Scripps as the operator of a new scientific research vessel. The yet-to-be-designed “Ocean Class” vessel will cost $88 million and is planned to commence operations by 2015. A new breed of research ship, it will be more than 200 feet long and will be equipped with powerful ocean exploration equipment and instrumentation, including multibeam seafloor mapping systems, a sub-bottom profiler that will map sediments below the seafloor, acoustic doppler current profilers for mapping currents throughout the water column, and precise navigation tools for tracking instruments in the water beneath the ship. An array of networked sensors will measure atmospheric and ocean properties.

The vessel will also feature clean, fuel-efficient engines, and a hull engineered to move through the water, using as little fuel as possible.

—Mario C. Aguilera, ’89