CASE STUDY: Research Vessel Undergoes Crucial Electrical Upgrades

U.S. Navy owned vessel continues research at sea following electrical upgrades carried out by Fusion Marine.

The Challenge

A research vessel is a boat or ship which is designed and equipped to carry out research at sea. They are a key research infrastructure, providing vital access to our oceans and seas. On board these vessels, explorers can deploy divers, equipment, and submersibles to carry out several roles.

Designed to support general oceanographic research, a U.S. Navy-owned vessel was unable to fulfill her role at sea, due to out-of-date components. It was equipped with six science labs, precision navigation systems, seafloor mapping sonar, and satellite communications, making it one of the most sophisticated research vessels afloat. However, to bring the vessel back to its highest operational standard, electrical upgrades were necessary.

To ensure the crew on board could continue with their research efficiently, they required the installation of two fiber optic gyrocompasses - enabling the precise stabilization of the vessel's navigation devices. This upgrade would provide the crew with reliable and sophisticated GPS results. After being let down by their initial provider, they needed a quick solution.

Our crew addressed the vessel's initial problem, moving on to identify further updates that were needed. It's always a great feeling enabling the critical research that takes place at sea.

- Philip Terrile, Director of Commercial Service at Fusion Marine

The Solution

Having previously worked on the vessel's sister ship, Fusion Marine was contacted to put their experience and expertise to use. The ship had a small layover period in California, so the team immediately got to work.

Shortly after the arrival of two Fusion Marine technicians, the fiber optic gyrocompasses were installed. This robust technology provided a compact solution, forgoing the need for moving parts or expensive configurations.

A fiber-optic gyrocompass is a compass and instrument of navigation. This small device provides highly reliable compass readings and avoids the need for complex mechanics.

- Philip Terrile, Director of Commercial Service at Fusion Marine

Following the discovery of additional problems on the vessel, Fusion Marine spent an additional two weeks upgrading the electrical systems on board - ensuring increased performance and safety for the crew. In just a few weeks, Fusion Marine was able to troubleshoot the issues and supply the required solutions.

The Results

Following the installation and electrical upgrades, the vessel was ready to set sail. The fiber optic gyrocompasses provided clear and precise navigation, and the vessel could once again function to her highest potential.

Following on from this project, Fusion Marine has remained in contact with the crew, moving on to carry out a complete re-work of the vessel's pilot house. This solution will provide a solid system that will aid the crew in collecting accurate research-grade data for years to come.

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