RRS Discovery 1962 - 2012
The Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery is the ‘old lady’ of the NERC fleet and will celebrate her 50th birthday in 2012, having originally been delivered to the National Institute of Oceanography on 17 December 1962 by Hall Russell Shipyard in Aberdeen, UK.
The RRS Discovery follows a long line of vessels carrying the same name, the most famous of which is probably the Sailing Yacht Discovery commanded by Captain Robert Falcon Scott during the Discovery Expedition to the Antarctic in 1901. This ship was subsequently re-designated RRS (Royal Research Ship) Discovery in 1923, and is the direct forerunner on the current vessel.
RRS Discovery underwent a major refit in 1992 which comprised insertion of a 10m lengthening section and a complete rebuild of her upper-works, including new laboratories, as well as greatly enhanced over-the-side handling facilities. A further major refit in 2003 installed an updated electrical winch system. These enhancements have ensured that the ship remained fully capable of supporting 20th Century marine science worldwide. However, the ship is not fitted with a multibeam echosounder, nor is it capable of dynamic positioning, while the main propulsion motor is the one fitted at build. As a consequence, NERC commenced a project to replace the vessel in 2007, which resulted in a contract being placed to build a new ship, of the same name, which will enter NERC service in 2013.
- Single echosounder surveys
- Integrated data logging
- Seismic surveys
- Clean seawater sampling
- CTD surveys
- Deepwater coring, trawling, and towing
|Call sign||GLNE||Overall length||90.2m|
|Total Capacity:||52||Maximum draft||5.3m|
|Marine crew||22 officers and ratings||Maximum displacement||4310 Tonnes|
|Scientists and technicians||28 according to the science type||Gross tonnage||3008 Tonnes|
|Average operating speed||10 knots||Net tonnage||Tonnes|
|Endurance extreme||55 days||Displacement||4310m3|
|Endurance operational||45 days||Completed||1962 (rebuilt 1992)|
|Working areas||All oceans, including ice-edge||Classification||Lloyd’s +100 A1, Ice C, FS, LMC, UMS, DP(AM), Research Vessel|
Equipment HandlingDuring the major rebuild of the RRS Discovery in 1992, the ship’s working decks were extensively remodeled and a highly capable set of handling systems installed, while in 2003 the ship’s winch suite (link to winches and gantries) was replaced. The success of both of these innovations is marked by the fact that both the RRS James Cook and the replacement for the Discovery have been designed with similar features.
LaboratoriesRRS Discovery is fitted with a wide range of scientific laboratories and workshops, which undertake both wet and dry work.
Permanently Fitted Sensors & InstrumentationAlthough not fitted with a multibeam echosounder, the RRS Discovery is fitted with an array of modern scientific instrumentation.
Bridge EquipmentDespite her age, the bridge equipment on RRS Discovery has been regularly updated to keep the ship fit for undertaking modern science.
|Diesel generators||2 x Mirrlees Blackstone ESL6
2 x Mirrlees Blackstone ESL9
|Main propulsion motors||AEI MP.60/32 Double Unit Motor DC (1,500kW)|
|Shaft / propeller||Single screw fixed pitch prop - 160 rpm|
|Bow Thruster||White-Gill T3 azimuthing bow thruster 360 (550kW)|
|Rudder||Becker High Performance Flap Rudder|
|Fresh water capacity||208m³|