OceanX recently launched its new, one-of-a-kind scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel, the R/V OceanXplorer.
Designed and built to be the most advanced combined marine research and media vessel in existence, OceanXplorer is both a floating, integrated marine research platform and a Hollywood-caliber media production studio. Formerly named Alucia2, the ship builds on the legacy of OceanX’s first research vessel, the M/V Alucia, and will become the centerpiece of OceanX’s mission to explore the ocean and bring it back to the world.
With its advanced, media-optimized scientific exploration vehicles, its chemical, biological, and geophysical sampling tools, and its centralized data integration system and onboard media center, OceanXplorer will make it possible to explore and document parts of the ocean humans have never before experienced.
OceanXplorer is a former petroleum support and survey ship that was completely retrofitted, and spans nearly 286 feet (62.8 meters). The vessel’s features include a 40-ton, man-rated A-frame crane strong enough to launch submersibles, towed sonar arrays, and other heavy equipment; a resident helicopter and climate-controlled hangar; dedicated deployment systems that will allow for independent launch and recovery of piloted and autonomous underwater drones; and oceanographic sensor platforms.
The ship also features two manned Triton submersibles, each of which can dive to depths greater than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) for up to eight hours, and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that can explore depths up to 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) – exploring locations in a way no human has before.
OceanXplorer’s underwater optical modem allows never-before-seen livestreaming video and data from untethered submersibles in the depths of the ocean seafloor to social media feeds and classrooms in real time; the custom lighting rigs and housings make the ship the only vessel in existence that can image using 8K RED cameras 6,000 meters deep.
The ship’s media studio and filmmaking capabilities were developed in partnership with renowned filmmaker and ocean explorer James Cameron and the Avatar Alliance Foundation and in consultation with production designer N.C. Page Buckner (“One Night in Miami,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Iron Man 2”) and will stream its findings to audiences worldwide, delivering groundbreaking scientific news at the moment of discovery.
According to Ray Dalio, co-founder of OceanX and President of Dalio Philanthropies:
“I believe that ocean exploration is both more important and more exciting than space exploration and that OceanXplorer will show the world that this is true. The ship OceanXplorer will take ocean explorers to never-before-seen undersea worlds and allow them to beam back what they encounter via social media, digital experiences, and a TV show. It will be mind-blowing.”
Mark Dalio, co-founder & Creative Director of OceanX, said:
“At OceanX, we’ve long believed in and worked to harness the transformative power of media every day. OceanXplorer will allow us to pair science and media together like never before and share the excitement and wonder of ocean exploration with a global audience in real time.”
Check out a video of the OceanXplorer below.