Scripps FLIP ship

Published Mon 30 March 2009 00:09 (+1300)
    (no tags)

I love the FLIP ship, it's a 108m-long, thin ship with no engine of its own; it gets towed out into the ocean somewhere where they want to do some research but need a stable platform that won't bob up and down or make noise. When they get it there, they flood the long stem bit and it sinks under the water, flipping up the whole ship 90°. The length and weight of the sunken part makes it very stable so it provides a great base even in fairly heavy seas. The crazy thing is what it means for the people on the ship at the time – they don't get off to flip it:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tQxQfQU_hsk&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tQxQfQU_hsk&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

So they just all clamber around the outside and grab onto stuff as it turns over. Back inside the ship, the living arrangements need a bit of special technology… Since all the floors are now walls and one of the walls is now the floor.

So some of the rooms are built with two of each thing, for example the two sinks in the second photo of this page; others, the stuff in the room is on a gimball so it smoothly rotates itself around to keep pointing the right way up, as in the video above.

Pretty cool, if unusual, design for a research platform. We wants one.