News‎ > ‎

Flip boat. Amazing

posted Feb 19, 2011, 1:49 PM by Cesar Harada   [ updated Feb 19, 2011, 1:56 PM ]
Via Etienne Gernez

Nevermind the music : mute.

FLIP: The World's Strangest Research Lab
Doors in the floor, portholes in the ceiling, tables bolted sideways to walls, stairs leading to nowhere! What kind of a research lab is this?

Meet FLIP, a very strange piece of oceanographic equipment used by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. FLIP isn't a ship, even though researchers live and work on it for weeks at a time while they conduct scientific studies in the open ocean.

FLIP stands for Floating Instrument Platform: it is actually a huge specialized buoy. One of its creators described it as looking like a 355-foot long ( 108 m) baseball bat. If that isn't unusual enough, it really flips! 

See how it works video!

photo: Greg Ochocki

FLIP was created more than 40 years ago by two Scripps scientists, Drs. Fred Fisher and Fred Spiess. They needed a more quiet, stable place than a research ship to study how sound waves behave under water.

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. Since Drs. Fisher and Spiess completed their first tests, many other important data have been gathered using 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 are just a few of the subjects studied using the amazing FLIP.