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KNUD E. HANSEN and DTU Aqua (Technical University of Denmark) has completed the comprehensive design study for a new 65-m multidisciplinary marine research vessel. Looking ahead DTU Aqua urgently needs to replace the aging R/V DANA IV as it is facing a 40-year Class survey in ultimo 2022.

The purpose of the project has been to develop a concept design and budgetary cost estimate for the replacement of the R/V DANA with scientific capacity and equipment for a highly advanced multidisciplinary research vessel that will place DTU Aqua in position being an attractive partner for international scientific projects.

The multidisciplinary 65-m marine research vessel is designed and optimized for cost-effective fish stock assessment, hydro-acoustic studies and biological, chemical and physical oceanography based on DTU Aqua’s expected service profile in 2023.

The following objectives have been prioritized:

  • Maximum capacity for hydro acoustic scientific performance
  • High efficiency in fish stock monitoring
  • High scientific multidisciplinary performance through versatile design
  • Year-round operation in North Sea and Baltics
  • Summer/ Autumn operation in Greenland and Polar waters
  • Low operational costs

The vessel is designed for class notation DNVGL ✠ 1A, SPS, EO, DYNPOS (AUTS), PC (6), and to comply with the ICES CRR 209 standard for low underwater radiated noise (URN) emission. In carrying out the design, the key design drivers and other design issues have been scrutinized and evaluated to arrive at optimal design solutions, which prioritizes regulatory compliance, safety, and environment.

The DTU Aqua operating area will primarily be the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia, the Kattegat, the Skagerrak, the North Sea, the North Atlantic and Greenlandic waters in summer and autumn. The vessel is designed to operate world-wide including the geographical coverage area of ​​the IMO Polar Code up till approx. 80o N depending on the ice situation.

The capacity of the vessel includes single and double cabins for 34 crew and personnel of which an average of 18-20 is expected to be researchers depending on the specific research operations.

The vessel is arranged with a full suite of hydro-acoustic transducers, multiple laboratories trawl gear, cranes, CTD and deck equipment to support multi-disciplinary research operations. The CTD cranes can operate and sample water to depths of 3000 m as well as handle underwater equipment ranging from small plankton nets and bottom corers and towing of multinets.

The trawl gear is arranged for flexible and efficient operation with multiple net drums and flush deck hatches to two receiving bins. Laboratories are arranged adjacent to CTD Hangar, and below trawldeck to allow efficient handling of fish samples and a variety of wet or dry laboratory work to be carried out simultaneously.

The acoustic transducer suite can carry out a full range of hydro-acoustic surveys, such as bottom mapping, sub-bottom profiling, current profiling, 3D visualization of fish stocks and biomass estimation.

The multifunction deck is equipped with a bolt grid for flexible arrangement of research gear combined with up to four (4) ISO 20′ containers. The side bulwark for the trawl lane, as well as the transom bulwark aft and the starboard side can be removed, so that the overall multi-deck area can be expanded to include the trawl lane.

The building cost of the vessel have been estimated in consultation with several shipyards within continental Europe. The design study concludes that it is possible for DTU Aqua within a total budget of DKK 340 million to have the 65-m ice classed multidisciplinary marine research vessel designed, built and commissioned.


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