Friday, 14 May 2010
The novel vessel was invented more than 40 years ago by two Scripps scientists, Drs. Fred Fisher and Fred Spies, who needed a more quiet, stable place than a research ship to study how sound waves behave under water.
Apart from FLIP, all other ships bob up and down and roll side to side. Even when their engines are turned off, a ship's experimental equipment makes noise as it is heaved up and down in the water. When FLIP is in its vertical position it is both extremely stable and quiet.
Researchers study with the assistance of FLIP; The way water circulates, how storm waves are formed, how seismic waves move, how heat is exchanged between the ocean and the atmosphere, and the sound made underwater by marine animals.
Since its inception, without fail, FLIP has been used in over 300 operations worldwide, and it is currently owned by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.