The RV Investigator is Australia’s flagship research vessel supporting a wide range of marine research, from the Antarctic ice-edge to the equator (see where it is right now and explore its data!). It is operated by the Marine National Facility on behalf of the nation.
The Investigator has the capacity to undertake in-depth oceanographic, biological and geoscience research, and is the first Australian vessel equipped with dedicated atmospheric laboratories. These world-class atmospheric facilities host a suite of instrumentation measuring meteorological packages, greenhouse gases, radon, ozone, and a range of aerosol parameters. The table below summarises the ongoing atmospheric measurements.
|MAAP – Multiangle Absorption Photometer||Continuous black carbon & aerosol absorption at 525 nm|
|Polar nephelometer||Aerosol scattering at 3 wavelengths & multiple angles|
|SMPS – Scanning mobility particle sizer||Aerosol size distributions, 10 nm to 1µm|
|CN10 – condensation particle counter||Aerosol number concentrations for particles >10 nm diameter|
|CCN – cloud condensation nuclei counter||CCN number concentrations|
|Ozone monitor||Ozone mixing ratio|
|Picarro G2301||Greenhouse gas mixing ratios: CO2, CH4, H2O|
|Aerodyne Mini-QCL||Greenhouse gas mixing ratios: CO, N2O, H2O|
|Radon detector||Radon concentrations, giving land influence and atmospheric transport|
|Dual-Pol C-band Doppler radar||Precipitation|
|Meteorological package||Meteorological parameters (e.g. wind speed, direction, temperature, radiation, etc)|
|Sonic anemometers||Wind speed and direction in both two horizontal dimensions, and|
In addition, the Investigator also provides important world class facilities for the deployment of guest instrumentation for more focussed measurement campaigns. This includes:
- Ample space in both the Aerosol and Air Chemistry laboratories, outdoor sampling space on Deck 5.
- Multiple air sampling inlets: the main inlet host a large number of additional instruments, with the ability to condition incoming samples for temperature, humidity and flow; additional special purpose inlets exist for VOC and ozone sampling using Teflon tubing, as well as separate inlets for very high flow rate instrumentation.
- A full telemetry system is provided to allow intensive sonde release campaigns.
- The ship has mounting positions for two shipping containers fore of the exhaust and superstructure – a prime position for atmospheric sampling. In addition, there is ample space on the aft trawl deck for additional containers where atmospheric properties aren’t critical.
- Stabilised platform – a shipping container-mounter stabilised platform has been designed specifically for instruments that must be stabilised against the dynamic ocean.