The Research Vessel OGS Explora is an ice-class oceanic research vessel owned by the OGS, Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics), since 1989. The vessel is equipped with the most advanced geophysical and oceanographic instruments:
The ship offers to both the European and the international earth and marine science communities a wide range of capabilities, including geophysical, marine geology and oceanographic facilities, laboratories and equipment.
This 73 m long, 1400 ton weight vessel can safely operate all the year round either in ocean and polar environment, except in ice-covered areas. It can actually accommodate up to 24 researchers and technicians, with a crew of 18, and is capable of 30-days missions.
Since 2008, the R/V OGS Explora is part of the EUROFLEETS project, the European excellence research alliance created to support the scientific marine research and providing efficient sea infrastructures and facilitating their coordination.
The oceanographic equipment allows the study of the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water columnand surface sediments by means of both indirect and direct measurements and sampling; specific types of scientific instruments can be required depending on the research questions and objectives of the researchers involved in a given expedition.
The geophysical equipment of the ship allows the study of the seafloor and the sub-seafloor at different scale of resolution and penetration, from the seafloor to several kilometers of depth, and is suited to perform stratigraphic and tectonic analysis, to characterize the occurrence of gas-charged fluids within the sediments and gas seeps in the water column and to assess risks associated to slope instability. This makes it possible to characterize any site where whatever offshore infrastructure has to be built: such as exploration and exploitation platforms, wind farms, pipelines, communication cables and power lines.
All the collected data are georeferenced and can be integrated with other data for joint analyses and interpretation. OGS will provide the personnel to carry out the surveys and to process and interpret the data.