The modernised Aranda helps marine scientists
Improving the state of the Baltic Sea requires research data in order to determine how to achieve the best results at the lowest possible cost.
The modernised nautical research vessel Aranda got six metres of extra length, plenty of new laboratory facilities, and an extensive amount of new equipment during a remodelling process that took nearly a year and cost 15 million euros.
The vessel is used up to 200 days a year, but in recent times Finns have only had the ship for their own use for roughly sixty days. One day of use costs 19,000 euros, and the operating budget is tight.
Therefore, Finland has invested a significant amount of money into a research vessel it can’t seem to afford to use.
– The crew and fuel expenses are small compared to the ownership costs. The more time the Aranda spends at sea, the more efficiently the capital invested into the ship gets used, says Juha Flinkman, the development manager of the Finnish Environment Institute.
During the renovations, the Aranda was turned into an eco-friendly ship that runs on biodiesel fuel and is able to produce the required electricity partially by using batteries.
The ship’s new sonar is able to create 3D maps of the seabed, which can be used to study the seabed, schools of fish, shipwrecks and the harmful substances in them. The equipment can even distinguish between species of fish.
One of the most important tools on the ship is the CTD probe that measures the water temperature, pressure, and conductivity in order to determine the depth and salinity of the water. In addition, the measuring tools are equipped with sensors for oxygen, sulphur, and turbidity along with a fluorometer to measure the amount of phytoplankton in the water.
Everything except the number of plankton and micro-organisms is calculated aboard the ship. The results are immediately sent to shore via satellite.