CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA), a US-based marine environmental consulting firm, revealed the latest addition to its coastal survey fleet, the R/V Dolphin. The 15 m multipurpose vessel has been specially configured to support marine geophysical survey. Building upon the capabilities of CSA’s existing nearshore fleet, the R/V Dolphin’s layout includes a large aft working deck, a raised wheelhouse with 360° viewing windows, and a spacious multi-use salon area below decks.
The vessel is powered by twin Detroit Diesel 8-71 motors and a 20 kW generator. On deck are two high speed integrated research winches, each with 6-pass slip rings to support custom instrument interfacing. Each winch is capable up to 1,500 lbs pull with electronic controls for local or remote operation. A 1,500 safe working load (SWL) articulating A-frame is located on the vessel’s transom. The legs are spaced 3 m wide for the launch and recovery of large towed instruments. Two modular J-frames are incorporated on the outboard side of each cross member to provide additional tow points and wider spread for the simultaneous deployment of towed gear. The R/V Dolphin is currently configured to simultaneously tow a Transverse Marine Gradiometer (TVG) and side-scan sonar, with an additional magnetometer concurrently operating multi-beam, single-beam, and sub-bottom profilers, and an ultra-short baseline (USBL) transceiver.
The survey salon features an enclosed, climate-controlled cabin 7 m long by 3.5 m wide, and survey desks with three dedicated workstations. The port side has a small galley with full size refrigerator and the starboard side head is complete with shower. A server rack contains data acquisition computers, uninterrupted power supplies, and rack-mounted instrument accessories. Forward, two workstations are dedicated for protected species observers and/or client representatives. A cellular-based WIFI network supplies high speed internet throughout the entire salon deck. The vessel is complete with all mandated Health, Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) gear such as an emergency position-indicating radio-beacon (EPIRB), automatic identification system (AIS), search and rescue transponder (SART), life raft, immersion suits, and personnel locator beacons.
“The R/V Dolphin gives CSA the capability to perform surveys in coastal and nearshore environments to the highest specifications with a fully integrated vessel,” stated Kevin Peterson, CEO of CSA. “This is a rugged, long range vessel that has been designed and outfitted with the latest technology and equipment to ensure safe and reliable operations in water depths ranging from hundreds of meters to shallow nearshore sites.”