FS Sonne is the world’s most advanced research vessel

The FS Sonne is a scientific vessel that navigates the oceans of our planet. The research and mapping of the ocean floor is a great unknown and preoccupies science. But the big drawback is that it is very difficult to reach the seabed because of the great pressure in those areas. For this reason they need very advanced equipment. Scientific expeditions today have the most advanced oceanographic research vessel: the FS Sonne (German for “sun”).

FS Sonne
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chile. Research vessel SONNE, © ©dpa
The FS Sonne is a German scientific vessel that sails the world’s oceans

The vessel began sailing in 2014. It is specially designed to intervene in scientific research work. It is a multipurpose platform that includes almost all marine disciplines. It can analyze the different types of oceanography. So it performs biological and physical research, marine chemistry or atmospheric research. It also has equipment for marine geology, marine geophysics and meteorology, geodynamics as well as marine biogeochemistry.

The ship is owned by the German government and as such carries its flag. It works mainly on research in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. At her stern, she has a large crane that can lift up to 30 tons. Its main function is to launch submarines for deep sea research and exploration.

A winch helps the crane lower equipment down to a depth of 12,000 meters. On the same deck, there is a workshop for heavy mechanical work. It also includes a laboratory for electronics, precision mechanics and electricity.

In addition, on the deck there is an automated weather station. With it they can monitor and record the temperature. In addition, they take data on wind direction and speed, humidity, air pressure and ultraviolet radiation.

It has the most advanced equipment to perform all types of environmental research

It has the latest generation and precision echo sounders, which allow to measure the deep seabed. They can also perform seismic surveys. Finally, it has a wave radar and a rain gauge. The Sonne vessel is energy efficient and environmentally and ecosystem friendly.

It is currently carrying out work off the coast of Chile in the Pacific. Off the Chilean coast, the Oceanic Plate is sliding under the South American Plate. This geological fault causes marine earthquakes and some of them are devastating. Each earthquake can be followed by a tsunami that also destroys. Scientists on board the Sonne are investigating marine tectonic stresses on the ocean floor.

These tectonic stresses develop over time and can lead to an earthquake. The seafloor stores important information about each earthquake. Scientists study it through the field of seafloor geodesy. For this they use the high-precision equipment that is on the ship.

The Sonne carries 40 scientists and carries a crew of 32. It consists of 17 laboratories of 600 square meters each. It is so efficient and environmentally friendly that it received the “Blue Angel” eco-label.

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