In 1960 at the height of the "cold war" the rapid development of U.S. nuclear submarine fleet required new methods for missile guidance. In this regard, the military leadership shipbuilders was offered a unique concept for acoustic research, after which the U.S. will receive the latest methods of missile guidance. Soon after the project was implemented by the Institute of Naval Research and Marine Physical Laboratory at the Institute of Oceanography Scripps.

The creators were scientists Fred Fisher and Fred Spiess. To study the propagation of sound waves under water, they suggested an unusual structure. In 1962 the company «Gunderson Brothers Engineering» was built a unique vessel has been called «FLIP» («Floating Instrument Platform»), which translated to English means "floating platform for instrumental studies." After the first sea trials, scientists have understood the importance of the discovery. Because now the person an opportunity to further study the circulation of water, storm formation and movement of seismic waves, and this is only part of the study subjects.
For the past 48 years research vessel «FLIP» continues to successfully operated and owned by the company «The Gunderson Brothers Engineering Company». In 1995 the ship was modernized, on what was spent about $ 2 million. New homeport became La Jolla, California.

The uniqueness of the vessel «FLIP» is the ability to make a vertical position and return from it. In addition to the scientific laboratory and office space for the crew occupy most of the ballast tanks.

Translated from horizontal to vertical is made within 30 minutes

Operator filled compartments 7H, 3H, and partly 1B. When you receive a number of water into the bay 6H, the platform begins to overturn. Bays 1H, 2 and 4 is also filled with water. Fill sections 1B and 3B can control the speed of the dive. When a set of ballast over, scuttle closed and the flow of water stops, but the platform is in position with a slope of 45 degrees. Then the ship «FLIP» at a speed of 5.6 km / h and reaches a vertical position. Statement by installing aligns the water level in the compartment number 7, ensuring a strictly vertical position.

The stability of the vessel is achieved by holding the three anchors, the total mass of 9 tonnes. In some cases, RV «FLIP» drifting in the ocean waters.

This unique vessel has no propulsion of its own, but is equipped with shunting propeller with hydraulic drive. Its function is to maintain a stable state when you turn the ship around the vertical axis.

To return the RV «FLIP» to its former position of the vessel normally takes less than 30 minutes. The downloaded compressed air volume of 90 thousand liters of 18 atmospheres of pressure displace water from the ballast tanks through the scuttle. After filling the vessel operator compartment 9H «FLIP» back to a horizontal position ready to be shipped anywhere in the world ocean.

The main source of electricity are the two diesel generators of 150 kW and a 40 kW for standby use. Engine room is situated high above the water, without interfering with investigations of possible noise. Navigation equipment includes a gyroscope, GPS, radar, and a set of communication equipment - VHF station, HF radio and satellite terminals.

On account of the research vessel «FLIP» more than 300 successful discoveries. The only ship in the world «FLIP» presently used for a variety of research: in his laboratory the measurements of density and temperature of sea water, the height of the waves, the behavior of marine life at the impact on them of different sounds, collected data for meteorologists in forecasting. Being in an upright position on a huge ship like silent buoy, which are held by listening to the ocean. The penalty for deviation of the wave is standing upright vessel of 1 cm

Sonar, on board the vessel, record the displacement of the mass of water in the waves with astonishing accuracy of 1 cm / s per 1 cubic km of ocean. A clear advantage of the typical vessels made ​​it possible not so long ago to make a natural opening - the research laboratory hydrophones recorded the so-called "chorus of fish," which did not stop during the entire night, and the level of sound volume was not inferior to the fans in the stadium.

Interestingly, some subjects interior office space (sink, toilet and shower), duplicated, that does not restrict the actions of sailors in whatever position the vessel was not. Most cabins have two inputs, the bed is moved from one position to another and fixed. Scientific instruments are built into the wall, which, after transformation into a floor. Other systems, devices, and household objects are fixed on special hinges turning, so keep a horizontal position.

Accommodation on board is not for the weak will of the people. The command ship of the unique «FLIP» remains in cramped conditions for 30 days, and sometimes this period can take up to 45 days. After transformation of the staff have to ascend and descend steep stairs to a height of five-story building in a narrow space.

We must get used to the fact that the deck on which you stood a few minutes into a bulkhead. The main rule on board «FLIP»: «Before I set foot on deck, just think - maybe it's the partition."

Despite the difficulties, many members prefer to science in such a way to extract useful information for humanity, while at the unique research vessel in the world under the name «FLIP».

Technical data of the research vessel «FLIP»:
Length - 108.2 m;
Width - 7.9 m;
Draught - 3.8 m;
Displacement - 700 tons;
Speed ​​of towed - up to 10 knots;
Power plant - three diesel-electric generator;
The crew, including research staff - 16 people;

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