The illustrious research vessel of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, stands as a symbol of scientific exploration and innovation in oceanography.
24 Oct, 2023
Monika Agrawal, IIT Delhi
As I stepped onto the deck of Falkor (too), I was immediately struck by the ship's sophistication. A marvel of modern engineering, Falkor (too) stood tall and proud, its sleek design and resolute stature evoked a profound sense of pride.
This illustrious research vessel of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, stands as a symbol of scientific exploration and innovation in oceanography. This state-of-the-art ship is equipped with cutting-edge technology and advanced research equipment, empowering scientists and researchers to embark on transformative expeditions into the world's oceans.
The vessel is equipped with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), named "SuBastian” for exploring ocean depths and collecting precise samples from the bottom of sea. SuBastian can operate in water down to 4500m of depth. It is equipped with high resolution cameras to view the marine life closely. Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth (CTD) profilers offer insights into water properties at varying depths. Multi-beam Echo-sounders, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs), and a Ultra-Short Base Line (USBL) position system further enhance marine research capabilities, making this a beacon of oceanic exploration. Falkor (too)'s missions encompass diverse topics, including marine biology, geology, oceanography, environmental science, and technology development.
Falkor (too)’s interior exuded an air of luxury, with spacious cabins offering breath-taking views of the vast sea. The ship's amenities surpassed all expectations, providing a comfortable home-away-from-home for the scientists, engineers, and artists aboard. Living on Falkor (too) was not just a scientific journey but also a culinary adventure. As a vegetarian, I was curious about how my dietary preferences would be accommodated on board. To my delight, the ship's talented chefs ensured that I had a diverse and delicious array of vegetarian options to savour.
The experiments conducted on Falkor (too) during my trip was an investigation into micro-plastics in the ocean. The team, comprising of young researchers from Denmark, were working very hard to collect samples day and night during the expedition, and Falkor (too) crew - science and engineers – were very happily supporting them in everything. Finding the levels of micro-plastic in the water is valuable research, raising awareness about this is urgent and why we need sustainable practices to protect our oceans.
Beyond the realm of science and engineering, Falkor (too) also hosted artists who joined the expedition to capture the essence of the voyage through their art. The fusion of art and science on-board was a unique and inspiring sight. Painters, photographers, and writers found inspiration in the vastness of the ocean, the vibrant marine life, and the camaraderie among the crew. Their artistic interpretations of the voyage would serve as a testament to the power of creativity in enhancing our understanding of the natural world. Sustainable garment designer, clay artist, videographers on this journey were adding different flavours to the trip.
As my trip on Falkor (too) came to an end, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. The experience had surpassed all my expectations, and I had gained invaluable insights into both the scientific and artistic aspects of oceanic exploration. The memory of my first journey on Falkor (too) would forever be etched in my heart, fuelling my passion for ocean research and inspiring me to encourage more students through to embark on their own extraordinary journeys on this magnificent ship.
Infact the IEEE OES Berth opportunity is a source of transformation and inspiration, fuelling the Falkor (too)'s quest to expand the horizons of knowledge. It's an open invitation, embracing remote, underfunded, and young researchers, reaching out to underserved communities. In the realm of academia and research, inequalities persist due to barriers like funds, location, and systems, limiting the potential of bright minds. The IEEE OES Berth opportunity shines as a beacon of hope, breaking down exclusivity and welcoming researchers from diverse backgrounds.
By connecting with underserved communities, IEEE-OES is not only democratizing access to knowledge but also enriching our collective intellectual landscape. It's a potential symbol of progress, forging new paths in research and nurturing a future where equality and advancement unite.Top of Form
I am really thankful for IEEE OES for sending me to this unconventional journey and Falkor (too) for hosting me for all these days. I hope I will come back here again with my team to test out my systems and algorithms on this unique research vessel soon!!