Xiamen University (XMU) built an oceanographic research ship that is intended to be a floating laboratory on the sea. The vessel is 78 meters in length with a maximum speed of 14 knots and a cruising radius of 10,000 nautical miles. The vessel is able to support 54 crew members, including 36 scientists, for up to 50 days between provisioning.
An International Endeavor
The vessel design was developed under a joint effort by Glosten, who led the design, and Chinese partners with expertise in vessel design and construction in China. The design process had to account for a diverse group of stakeholders – scientists, operators, managers, engineers, and fabricators – working together from opposite sides of the globe. Model testing was conducted in Bulgaria, and experts from China, United States, Taiwan, Spain, and Norway provided design input.
Transitioning Design Leadership
To facilitate input from all experts involved with the project, a design leadership transfer process was adopted. Glosten took lead responsibility for the Concept and Preliminary design phases. At completion of Preliminary Design, the vessel and its primary subsystems were developed to a level to verify both science mission requirements as well as establish capability for regulatory compliance. All major decisions and analyses that would affect the vessel size and performance were developed. Glosten then transferred design responsibility over to the Chinese partners to complete the Contract Design for shipyard pricing and contracting.
State-of-the Art Design
The vessel encompasses state-of-the-art research equipment and environmental technology. The vessel hull was optimized to reduce resistance and increase fuel efficiency. The vessel is now able to carry out multi-disciplinary oceanographic research activities using excellent acoustic equipment, precise dynamic positioning, 375 square meters of laboratory space, and other science-enabling features.
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