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Hosting Legal Entity
Spanish National Research Council
Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, Barcelona, PO: 08003, Catalonia (Spain)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 1990
Being upgraded since 2003 to 2004
Scientific Description
This RI is an ICTS (Unique Scientific and Technological Infrastructure), included in the Spanish National Roadmap for RIs. It is a 82.5 m long multidisciplinary research vessel with polar capacity that belongs to the Spanish Navy and is operated for science by the UTM-CSIC on behalf of the MINECO. At a yearly basis the vessel goes to Antarctica for scientific research and giving support to the Spanish Antarctic Stations (in Livingston Island and Deception Island). It is also used for mapping the economical exclusive zone of the Spanish waters, and to operate the projects approved by the “Plan Nacional de I+D+i” frame. The ship is prepared for research in oceanography, geology, geophysics, hydrography, benthos mapping, etc. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology which includes a wide range of acoustic instrumentation (multibeam echo sounders, sub-bottom profiler, biological and hydrographic echo sounders, ADCPs, etc.), geophysical equipment (gravity meters, magnetometers, seismic sources, high resolution streamers, etc.), seabed sampling devices (multicorers, dredges, etc.), water column sampling and analysis instruments (CTDs, towed vehicles, plankton recorders, multi-net sampling systems, etc.), fisheries, and a permanent internet link with on-shore facilities. The ship can be easily adapted to use large instrumentation like ROVs or deep towed vehicles.

RI Keywords
Marine geophysics, Deep Sea, Climate change, Marine biology, Chemical oceanography, Physical Oceanography, Marine geology, Antarctica, Biodiversity, Hydrography, Habitat mapping, Fisheries
RI Category
In situ Marine/Freshwater Observatories
Polar and Cryospheric Research Infrastructures
Acoustic monitoring stations
Earth Observation satellites
Earth, Ocean, Marine, Freshwater, and Atmosphere Data Centres
Software Service Facilities
Solid Earth Observatories, including Seismological Monitoring Stations
Electrical and Optical Engineering Facilities
Atmospheric Measurement Facilities
Environmental Health Research Facilities
Structural Biology Facilities
Scientific Domain
Information Science and Technology
Biological and Medical Sciences
Engineering and Energy
Earth and Environmental Sciences
[07-BIO HESP] Remote data sampling of the bottom

Physical properties and sediments: multibeam echo sounder for 3D bathymetry, backscatter and morphology, single beam echo sounder, side scan sonar.

[17-BIO HESP] Adaptative mobile laboratories and facilities operations

10-foot container laboratories and workshops, 20-foot container laboratories and workshops, deck machinery (A-frame gantries, winches, cranes, outriggers, etc.), other specific facilites (seimic gun array frames, etc.), vehicles management (auxiliary boats, load/unload vehicles).

[23-BIO HESP] Technological Development

Design and prototype for new instrumentation and operations (sensor, acquisition system, mechnical design, power supply, data integration and distribution), technological improvements, system integration (innovation), software development, analysis tools development.

[05-BIO HESP] Remote data sampling of the water column

Physical properties: acoustic current meter, front scan sonar, acoustic monitoring system; Sediments: turbidimeter; Organisms: biological echo sounder (acoustic biomass estimation).

[11-BIO HESP] Navigation and sensor integration

GPS, inertial motion unit, heading sensor, gyroscope, Doppler speed log, echo sounder, navigation system, ECDIS, DP, specific navigation system and integration system.

[10-BIO HESP] Direct data sampling of the sub-bottom

Piston core sampling, drilling, heat flow probe.

[21-BIO HESP] Access to the technology, technical assistance service and user support

Access to certain technologies and laboratories, engineer and technician assistance for experiments and campaigns (on board the ships and in polar facilities), instrumentation management (maintenance, spares and expendables procurement, calibration, adaptation, operation and repair), quality control of data acquisition and integration.

[16-BIO HESP] ROV, AUV and submersible operations

ROV camera, AUV, adaptative working deck for deep sea ROV operations, dynamic positioning, USBL (underwater position and telemetry).

[13-BIO HESP] Information and Communications Technologies

Acquisition of instrumentation and facility data, data integration, data indexing in the data base engines, mapping the data, GIS tools for indexing the metadata, third-party software tools, own-developed software, data link and communications (e-mail management, internet access, VHF communications, etc.).

[22-BIO HESP] Projects and experiments planning, technological consultancy

Feasibility assessment of a proposed scientific scenario in UTM-CSIC RIs or other research facilities, constraints assessment (technological issues, time requirements, human resources, economic costs, etc.), material supply, resources allocation, installation and adaptation of external user equipment on RI facilities, safety assessment.

[04-BIO HESP] Direct data sampling of the interface atmosphere/water and land surface

Physical properties: thermosalinometry, fluorometry, surface sound velocity sensor; Sediments: turbidimeter; Organisms: bongo net.

[25-BIO HESP] Training and outreach

Internal training, safety training, technological training for scientists; outreach and dissemination.

[18-BIO HESP] Water laboratory analysis

Seawater and fresh water analysis: espectrofluorometry, espectrofotometry, citometry and sorting, scintillation counter, titrator, automated analyser, salinometry, fluorometry, etc.; Auxiliar equipment for laboratory: pH meter, centrifuge, vacuum pump, autoclave, thermostatic bath, ultrasonic cleaner, drying oven, culture incubator, freezing facilities, cold laboratory, safety cabinet, laminar air flow module, water purification system, compressed gases distribution system, sea water distribution system, etc.

[19-BIO HESP] Sediments laboratory analysis

Core logger.

[09-BIO HESP] Remote data sampling of the sub-bottom

Parametric sub-bottom profiler, seismic sources (air gun, sparker, boomer, etc.), seismic reflection sensor (high resolution streamer), seismology and wide angle seismic sensor (OBSs); potential field techniques: gravity meter, magnetometer.

[08-BIO HESP] Direct data sampling of the bottom

Physical properties and sediments: multicorer sampling, box corer sampling, gravity corer sampling, piston corer sampling; Organisms: dredging, coring, epibenthic sledge, Agassiz trawl.

[06-BIO HESP] Direct data sampling of the water column

Physical properties: CTD and rosette (Niskin bottles) profile systems (up to 6,000 m of cable, and crane), undulating CTD, LADPC, radiometer, oxygen sensor, turbidimeter-nephelometer, phtosynthetically active radiation sensor, transmissometer, bathythermograph, flow meter, transparency sensor; Sediments: sediment trap; Organisms: Longhurst Hardy Plankton Recorder, Isaacs-Kidd Mid-water Trawl, plankton net, plankton counter recorder, electronic multiple sample net, mesozooplankton net; Fish: fisheries (pelagic and bottom trawling).

[15-BIO HESP] Drifting buoys operations

Deployment, tracking (using GPS and direction finder devices), and recovery of user drifting buoys.

[03-BIO HESP] Remote data sampling of the interface atmosphere/water and land surface

GPS position ant time, DGPS, RTK, satellite remote sensing.

[14-BIO HESP] Mooring and submarine observatories operations

Operations and working deck for mooring deployment and recovery, landers, tripods, OBSs; acoustic release system.

[01-BIO HESP] Remote data sampling of the atmosphere

Satellite remote sensing.

[12-BIO HESP] Telemetry, acoustic positioning and acoustic link

Pinger, net sensor, LBL system, USBL system, acoustic modem.

[02-BIO HESP] Direct data sampling of the atmosphere

Meteorological station and sensors.

[24-BIO HESP] Logistics

Shipping of material, mobilisation and demobilisation, engineers and technicians travelling and accomodation, material procurement, supplies, schedulling, customs proceedings, warehouses management.

[20-BIO HESP] Organisms and fish laboratory analysis

Organisms analysis: Epifluorescence microscope, binocular microscope, scale, fishing hold, fish measuring board, etc. Auxiliar equipment for laboratory: pH meter, centrifuge, vacuum pump, autoclave, thermostatic bath, ultrasonic cleaner, drying oven, culture incubator, freezing facilities, cold laboratory, safety cabinet, laminar air flow module, water purification system, compressed gases distribution system, sea water distribution system, etc.

[69-BIO HESP] Titrator

It is a laboratory method of quantitative chemical analysis that is used to determine the unknown concentration of an identified analyte.

[51-BIO HESP] Inertial Navigation System

It is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate the position, orientation, and velocity a moving object.

[34-BIO HESP] Multicorer

It is a sediment sampler that allows to get multiple samples of the seabed surface at the same time (up 10 cm).

[41-BIO HESP] Parametric sub-bottom profiler

It utilises the parametric effect to generate a low frequency secondary signal that can penetrate in the first metres of sediment.

[73-BIO HESP] Binocular stereo microscope

It is an optical microscope variant designed for low magnification observation of a sample using incident light illumination rather than transillumination (dissection).

[03-BIO HESP] Meteorological station

Sensors: atmospheric pressure, temperature, relative air humidity, global radiation, wind speed, wind direction, ultraviolet radiation.

[25-BIO HESP] Sediment trap

It is an instrument used to measure the quantity of sinking particulate organic and inorganic material in aquatic systems (usually installed in mooring systems).

[23-BIO HESP] Flow meter

It meausures the flow current at a specific point.

[48-BIO HESP] Gravity meter

It is an instrument used for measuring the local gravitational field of the Earth.

[57-BIO HESP] Pinger

It is an acoustic device used for calculating which is the distance between the instrument lowered with the pinger and the seabed.

[33-BIO HESP] Side scan sonar

It is a towed system that is used for creating an image of large areas of the seafloor, it is able to provide differences in material and texture type of the seabed due to its acoustic characteristics.

[20-BIO HESP] Undulating CTD

It is a towed data acquisition vehicle that is equipped with a CTD and other oceanographic monitoring equipment, it can include an Optical Plankton Recorder.

[72-BIO HESP] Epifluorescence microscope

Optical microscope that uses fluorescence and phosphorescence in addition to, reflection and absorption to study properties of organic or inorganic substances.

[13-BIO HESP] Bongo net

Zooplankton net biological sampler.

[58-BIO HESP] Net sensor

Acoustic sensor for monitoring the fishing gear (or other instrumentation) towed by the ship.

[55-BIO HESP] Navigation system

It is an electronic system that aids in ship navigation integrating different external sensors.

[19-BIO HESP] CTD water sampler

It measures conductivity, temperature, depth and it gets seawater samples (Niskin bottles), it can be equipped with other sensors (radiometer, oxygen sensor, turbidimeter-nephelometer, PAR sensor, transmissiometer, etc.).

[17-BIO HESP] Acoustic monitoring system

Acoustic multianalyser system that can monitoring the background noise of a certain area by means of high sensitivity hydrophones, conditioning amplifier, power amplifier, spectrum analyser, etc.

[29-BIO HESP] Isaacs-Kidd Mid-water Trawl

IKMT: It is an oceanography tool used to collect bathypelagic biological specimens larger than those taken by standard plankton nets.

[45-BIO HESP] High resolution streamer

An array of hydrophones at constant intervals that is towed for studying the first sub-bottom layers.

[37-BIO HESP] Piston corer

It is a long heavy tube plunged into the seafloor to extract samples of mud sediment (up to 15-20 m).

[35-BIO HESP] Box corer

It is a sediment sampler that allows minimal disturbance of sediments and a greater sample volume (up to 50-100 cm).

[42-BIO HESP] Air gun

A pneumatic chamber that is pressurised with compressed air (up to 3,000 psi) that is submerged below the water surface, and towed behind a ship to generate a seismic source.

[67-BIO HESP] Scintillation counter

It is an instrument for detecting and measuring ionising radiation.

[24-BIO HESP] Transparency sensor

It is used to measure the water transparency (i.e. Secchi disc).

[66-BIO HESP] Spectrofluorometer

It is an instrument which takes advantage of fluorescent properties of some compounds in order to provide information regarding their concentration and chemical environment in a sample.

[06-BIO HESP] Thermosalinograph

It determines the sea surface temperature and conductivity from underway vessels.

[12-BIO HESP] Turbidimeter

It is an optical instrument that measures the turbidity of a fluid containing suspended particles.

[26-BIO HESP] Longhurst Hardy Plankton Recorder

LHPR: It is a towed plankton sampling system in which the plankton is collected between two layer of fine gauze.

[21-BIO HESP] Radiometer

It is designed to detect and measure the radiant power of electromagnetic radiation.

[07-BIO HESP] Fluorometer

It is used for measuring parameters of fluorescence of the sea surface water.

[18-BIO HESP] Biological echo sounder

Echo sounder used for acoustic biomass estimation.

[32-BIO HESP] Single beam echo sounder

Echo sounder for punctual depth sampling.

[15-BIO HESP] Acoustic current meter

It measures the profile of water current velocities using the Doppler effect: ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), LADCP (Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler).

[27-BIO HESP] Multinet plankton sampler

It is a multiple plankton net towed system, the nets can be opened and closed remotely.

[61-BIO HESP] Acoustic release system

It is an oceanographic device for the deployment and subsequent recovery of instrumentation from the sea floor, in which the recovery is triggered remotely by an acoustic command signal.

[01-BIO HESP] GPS system

GPS receiver, including DGPS, RTK monitoring, time-frequency GPS base (disciplined OCXO or rubidium clock), GPS time-tagging, radio modem for transmitting the differential corrections.

[52-BIO HESP] Heading sensor

System that integrates the information of two GPS antennas for calculating the true heading of the ship.

[54-BIO HESP] Doppler speed log

It is a is a marine electronic device used to measure the speed of a moving vessel.

[64-BIO HESP] Salinometer

It is an instrument designed to measure the salinity, or dissolved salt content, of a solution.

[02-BIO HESP] Satellite images receiver and acquisition system

Satellite continuous weather monitoring and high-resolution satellite imagery.

[31-BIO HESP] Multibeam echo sounder

Swathe echo sounder for seabed mapping.

[36-BIO HESP] Gravity corer

It is a sediment sampler that gets a simple core of the seabed due to the gravity (up to 3-5 m).

[08-BIO HESP] Sound velocity sensor

It mesaures the sound velocity of the sea surface water.

[68-BIO HESP] Spectrophotometer

It is the quantitative measurement of the reflection or transmission properties of a material as a function of wavelength.

[38-BIO HESP] Rock dredge

It is a large bag made of metal chain links attached to a simple heavy frame that keeps the bag expanded, it is lowered off the back of a ship to the seafloor and dragged along to collect large pieces of rock.

[49-BIO HESP] Magnetometer

It is a measuring instrument used to measure the strength of the Earth magnetic field.

[65-BIO HESP] Flow cytometry and sorting

It is a biophysical technology employed in cell counting, sorting, biomarker detection and protein engineering, by suspending cells in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus.

[53-BIO HESP] Gyroscope

It is is a device for measuring the ship orientation.

[50-BIO HESP] Heat flow probe

It is an instrument for the measurement of the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity of the seabed.

[30-BIO HESP] Fisheries, pelagic and bottom trawling net

Fishing gear, including the pelagic trawl doors.

[16-BIO HESP] Front scan sonar

Sonar used for scanning the water column (it can be used for looking for detecting fish blanks or ice packs).

[47-BIO HESP] Ocean Bottom Seismometer

An OBS is a seismometer that is designed to record the Earth motion under ocean (from man-made sources and natural sources), the instrument is deployed to reach the sea bottom, it includes an hydrophone, and a acoustic release system.

[43-BIO HESP] Air compressor

It is a device that converts power into kinetic energy by compressing and pressurising air, it is used for providing compressed air to the air guns.

[22-BIO HESP] Bathytermographic system

It is a expendable probe system that is used for obtaining the temperature structure of the ocean (XBTs), it can be also used for the sound velocity structure (XSVs), and for the conductivity and temperature structure (XCTDs).

[44-BIO HESP] Air gun controller

An integrator system that is used for triggering and synchronising the air guns, and storing the precise time of the shots.

[28-BIO HESP] Multinet sampler for horizontal and vertical collections

It is a plankton multinet sampler that can be used towed or in a vertical profile, the nets can be opened and closed remotely.

International Research Ship Operators (IRSO)
European Research Vessels Operators (ERVO)
New operational steps towards an alliance of European research fleets (EUROFLEETS2)
Ocean Facilities Exchange Group (OFEG)
Date of last update: 01/03/2017
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