Maritime Management took on this exciting project in early 2009 when we were engaged by Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to reactivate this experienced but tired East German research vessel. The ship has been dramatically upgraded, and modernized since then under our overall technical and project management and was achieved without interrupting the vessels operational season each year.
This was the start of a long and successful co-operation with OET under the leadership of renowned undersea explorer Dr. Robert Ballard. Dr. Ballard is known for the discoveries of the Titanic, PT 109 and the Bismarck and being an inspiration to young and old to unlock the secrets on the ocean. The ship is equipped with state of the art ROVs operating at down to 4,000m and vast array of sensors and sonar equipment including Kongsberg EM302 Multi Beam Echo Sounder MBES. The vessel is set up and ready service OET requirements for exploration of the Geology, Biology and Archaeology of the depths and through live broadcasting and outreach programmes, to bring the excitement to educators and students ashore.
Kongsberg EM 302 Multibeam and Knudsen Sub Bottom Profiler in custom designed blister. The blister has the advantage of no bubble pass, no increase in draft and also accommodates additional recesses for installing client supplied sonar equipment without drydocking.
In Turkey, Black Sea and the Mediterranean up to 2013 , the vessel then moved to Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean for 2 seasons and moved to the Pacific in 2015 operating form Galapagos Islands up to the Canadian west Coast.
The vessel has been through SPS (Special Purpose Ship) Gap Analysis and after a number of safety enhancements is now issued with SPS certificate.
Maritime Management managed the modernization projects in full,from procurement and engagement of designers to the installation management, class approval to shipyard selection and delivery and budget control.
The modifications included:
- Installation of a full modern Dynamic Positioning System, including thrusters.
- Replaced a 70kW tunnel thruster with a 250 kW unit.
- Removed the active rudder and fitted a 360kW azimuth
- Installed two new 750 kW C18 Caterpillar generators
- New custom built A frame, deck cranes, ROV winch, and side scan winch.
- Integrated ROV hanger and ROV workshops.
- Wet Laboratories and ROV control centre.
- Total over haul and doubling of AC system capacity for hotter climates.
- New Data lab and IT office with dedicated cool Rack Room for all sensitive equipment and computers. All fitted to enhance the televisual experience.
- Live streaming of camera feed from the ROVs onto the world wide web.
- Capability to remain over the subsea target in all depths, and weather conditions up to force 7 Beaufort.
- Extensive accommodation redesign and construction to include new integrated galley and mess room and extensive outside deck social areas; refurbished staterooms and cabins for the 31 Science Team members on board.
- MARPOL upgrade, including sewage plant, waste disposal and garbage management.