|Photographer:||Michael Van Bosch [View profile]||Title:||BNS BELGICA A962||Added:||Jun 30, 2006|
|Arriving at Ostend with my dad on board...
The ship was commissioned in 1984 by Her Majesty Queen Fabiola. It measures 50.90 m x 10.00 m x 5.70 . Gross/net registered tonnage is 765t/232t. Its main purpose is to monitor the North Sea marine environment by collecting all sorts of data on the biological, chemical, physical, geological and hydrodynamic processes which take place there. The ship operates as a fully equipped laboratory with Belgian university / scientific institute researchers analysing the collected materials.
The ship also has an important task in montiring the North Sea in case of a large oil spills. It feeds the data back to the MUMM, which will calculate the probable extent and impact of the spill on the environment.
Belgica is equipped with 5 specific laboratories:
1.Fish-lab: equipped to sort and ditect fish.
2.Lab for microbiology : with 2 breedingovens, furnace and an air-purificationcloset.
3.Lab for chemistry : with, amongst others, an automatic chain for the analyses of nutrients.
5.General lab:to collect and distribute samples.
The layout of the scientific labs as well as of the bridge allows several teams to install their equipment is such a manner that Belgica can quickly be transformed into a specialized floating scientific laboratory.
Belgica is also equipped with a computer network to correlate oceanographical data (ODAS). This is a data processing system which stores all kinds of information, such as position, heading, speed seawatertemperature, salinity, etc... It can also reproduce in real-time this data in the form of lists, graphs or charts.