On board RRS Sir David Attenborough as it prepares for Antarctic trip

On board RRS Sir David Attenborough as it prepares for Antarctic trip

Environment

Alec Luhn joins the UK’s new state-of-the-art polar research ship for trials in the North Sea ahead of its first scientific expedition to Antarctica

By Alec Luhn

RRS Sir David Attenborough Field Notes NS

The state-of-the-art polar research ship Sir David Attenborough is being tested in the North Sea

Alec Luhn

On the Antarctic research ship Sir David Attenborough, engineers are gathered around a 4-metre square opening in the hull, known as the moon pool. A white robot floats in the water, its headlights illuminating the sides of the pool.

“Now push it forward and drop it to the bottom,” says Jamie Neilson, an engineering supervisor at Seatronics, the maker of this remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

With a press of a joystick, the thrusters whirr into …

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