Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s new Research Vessel Sally Ride welcomes the public at San Diego’s Broadway Pier.
If you love science, technology and the study of our planet’s oceans, please enjoy the following photo tour of a very special ship. In this blog post we will visit the newest, most highly advanced oceanographic research ship in the world!
The world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a part of UC San Diego located in La Jolla, debuted their new research vessel Sally Ride this weekend at the Broadway Pier. Today the public was invited to come aboard and learn about the future work of scientists at sea.
The R/V Sally Ride is equipped with technologically advanced equipment, sensors, labs and computer systems. In the years ahead, it will be tasked with learning about and preserving the oceans, studying and protecting the environment, and inspiring the next generation. Using satellite communication and the scientists aboard, students and teachers throughout the world will actively participate in ocean exploration.
Except in documentary films, the public seldom sees the interior of an ocean-going research vessel. So today was an opportunity not to be missed!
Please read the photo captions where I’ve tried, to the best of my knowledge, to provide accurate details. But I’m no expert. If you’d like to leave a correction or useful information in a comment, please do!
The public was invited to tour the new research ship Sally Ride. It was a rare opportunity to see how high tech exploration is carried out by UCSD Scripps scientists and oceanographers.
The free public tours of R/V Sally Ride drew a good crowd on a Sunday in October, 2016. These people smartly arrived an hour early to reserve a time slot.
The tour began inside the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Many displays highlighted the work of UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
UC San Diego embarks upon a new journey of exploration and boundary breaking with America’s newest research vessel R/V Sally Ride. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space.
A large display goes over the history of The Evolution of Climate Change Science. UCSD scientists have made important contributions in this field.
People inside the Port Pavilion learn about science and technology related to the understanding of planet Earth’s oceans.
These examples of what is found when taking sediment cores on the ocean floor include tiny elegant Radiolaria.
The Autonomously Deployed Deep-Ocean Seismic System’s Wave Glider is powered by solar and wave energy. It links with satellites and ocean bottom seismometers to help predict earthquakes and tsunamis.
Some advanced visual equipment on display during the public debut of Research Vessel Sally Ride in San Diego. Multiple underwater photos can be taken in quick succession to form a 3-D model.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla monitors climate variability and change, coastal hazards, marine operations, and ecosystems, fisheries and water quality.
Floating device used to measure ocean wave characteristics.
Peering out of the Port Pavilion at the R/V Sally Ride, docked at San Diego’s Broadway Pier.
Photo aiming toward the stern of R/V Sally Ride. The big A frame, winch shack, extending crane, and two retractable arms on the starboard side of the ship are visible.
Visitors eagerly head up the gangplank to explore America’s newest, most advanced research ship.
Here we go!
Looking down to our left.
This rosette frame can be lowered into the water with a variety of mounted sensors. We’ll see it again in a bit.
Heading down steep steps to the research ship’s fantail and work deck.
We are halfway down. Many distant sailboats can be seen on San Diego Bay this beautiful but mostly overcast Sunday.
R/V Sally Ride is equipped with shops, labs, winches, launch frames, booms and the newest scientific instruments and communication gear. The busy fantail and work deck are where science meets the sea.
The gigantic A-Frame at the stern of RV Sally Ride can lift loads up to 30,000 pounds! Wire and cable deploy towed instruments. Moorings and acoustic equipment are also deployed in this manner.
Visitors on the rear deck of R/V Sally Ride learn about science on the sea from a crewmember.
Looking forward and up, we see several levels to the ship. If I understand correctly, the electronic display indicates a cable’s tension, payout and speed.
Turning a bit to the right, we see the big crane atop a staging bay that is sheltered from the weather. Inside, equipment can be carefully prepared before deployment out in the elements.
Now we are heading toward the windowed winch shack, along the starboard side of the ship toward the two retractable arms.
One of two mechanical arms used to lower sensors, nets, and other oceanographic equipment into the water. They are called LARS, which stands for launch and recovery systems.
A member of the public reads a sign explaining that the LARS are controlled from the winch shack. Wire or cable is used to lower equipment overboard.
This rosette frame is holding a CTD, or conductivity, temperature and depth sensor. It can be lowered to a depth of nearly 4 miles! Niskin bottles attached to the frame can capture samples to be analyzed on the ship or at a later time.
A poster inside the R/V Sally Ride’s staging bay details the ship’s main characteristics.
Heading through a watertight door into the Wet Lab. Water samples are brought here for storage and analysis. There are drains in the floor!
Another poster contains photos taken during RV Sally Ride’s construction. (Click image to enlarge.)
A look inside the Wet Lab.
R/V Sally Ride is the newest member of the Office of Naval Research’s fleet. These ships are owned by the U.S. Navy, but operated by university employees and professional mariners. Science teams rotate on a regular basis every two or three weeks.
Heading from the Wet Lab into the Main Lab.
Lab stations on the R/V Sally Ride are optimized for the different types of research activities that take place at sea.
Visitors have written comments near a sign that describes the legacy of Sally Ride, our country’s first female astronaut. Sally was on the faculty of UC San Diego.
A diagram of R/V Sally Ride with detailed information about the ship.
Now we’ve arrived at the ship’s nerve center, the control station for CTD operations. Here scientists monitor ship location, sensor readouts, and trip bottles to collect samples.
After quickly passing the no-nonsense mess deck and through two rather bare state rooms, visitors head up stairs to check out the pilot house.
The high tech pilot house, or bridge, attracted a big crowd of curious visitors!
One of the seats where the ship’s captain can place himself. When at sea or holding station, a deck officer is present on the bridge at all times.
The huge computerized control console looks like it belongs on a spaceship!
Aft of the starboard side of the bridge is the chart room, where navigational plans are made for each expedition. Old-fashioned maps are still used as an emergency backup!
Heading around the pilot house, back toward the stern of R/V Sally Ride.
Looking down at the telescoping knuckleboom crane and other outdoor machinery used to carry out research on the often stormy ocean.
People examine an oceanographic winch. Drums can have upwards of 10,000 meters of wire or cable spooled on them.
As I understand it, this sturdy telescoping knuckleboom crane can be extended in all directions for multiple purposes, including lifting the gangplank!
Two impressive winches aboard R/V Sally Ride.
Looking back up toward the rear of the pilot house.
One last look at the aft deck and impressive A-Frame of the amazing new Research Vessel Sally Ride.
I’m not the only one who is impressed.
Heading forward along the ship’s port side. Downtown San Diego buildings rise across the water.
We’ve arrived at the ship’s bow, just below the pilot house, where we find the anchoring station. The big windlass mechanism lowers and raises an anchor.
R/V Sally Ride has three anchors, each weighing 5,000 pounds. Two are on either side of the bow and the third is a spare. Each anchor is connected to 720 feet of chain, which is stored below decks.
An orange life ring reads R/V Sally Ride, San Diego.
One last photo of R/V Sally ride during her debut at San Diego’s Broadway Pier. She begins her first research expedition in a matter of days!
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