An implementation plan for renewal of the national academic research fleet

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DeSilva, A., Atkinson, L., & Prince, J. M. (2002). An implementation plan for renewal of the national academic research fleet. Oceans Conference Record (IEEE), 3, 1774-1780.
TitleAn implementation plan for renewal of the national academic research fleet
AuthorsA. DeSilva, L. Atkinson, J. Prince
AbstractThe National Academic Research Fleet is widely regarded as the most capable fleet in the world. Each year this fleet of vessels supports approximately 500 oceanographic research cruises in the waters surrounding the US as well as the global oceans. The Fleet consists of 27 ships ranging in size from 66 feet to 279 feet. Many of these ships entered service in the 1970's and early 80's. In the next decade these same ships will be approaching their projected retirement dates. Without ship replacement, projections indicate that by 2009 there will be a shortage of research ships. The Federal Oceanographic Facilities Committee (FOFC) report, Charting the Future for the National Academic Research Fleet (12/01), provides specific recommendations for fleet retirement and renewal. The process for implementing fleet renewal must begin now. The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is the primary forum for planning and advice by the academic community regarding the facilities supporting ocean science research. Within UNOLS, the Fleet Improvement Committee (FIC) works to assure the continuing excellence of the UNOLS fleet and to assure that the number, mix and overall capability of ships in the UNOLS fleet match the science requirements of U.S academic oceanographers. Renewal of the research fleet is FIC's highest priority. In the coming years, UNOLS along with the federal agencies will work together on implementation of a plan for fleet renewal. Past ship construction efforts have taken as long as ten years, planning must begin now to ensure that the facilities needed for future oceanographic research programs will be available. FIC has drafted a roadmap for implementing fleet renewal. The roadmap outlines the various design steps, responsibilities and timelines recommended for ship design and construction. Designing a fleet for the future that can accommodate the multidisciplinary projected research needs of a diverse community of scientists can be challenging. The roadmap outlines a strategy for a focused approach that ensures community involvement at all design stages. The implementation plan begins with the establishment of science mission requirements. Sea-going scientists who will ultimately use the platforms must define these requirements. The roadmap identifies the need for design feasibility checks and cost estimates for both construction and operation. It will allow consideration of new technologies and various hull forms. This paper will describe FIC's recommended roadmap for fleet renewal. It will focus on the process for developing science mission requirements and efforts currently underway within UNOLS.
JournalOceans Conference Record (IEEE)
Start page1774
End page1780
SubjectsCosts, Feedback, Project management, Research laboratories, Fleet renewal, Oceanography
NoteVessels & Voyages, CODEN: OCNSD