CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State University has received $88 million from the National Science Foundation to lead the plans for constructing a new research ship.
KEZI spoke with Demian Bailey, who is the project co-leader with Oregon State University.
Bailey said the National Science Foundation first selected the university back in 2013 to lead the initial designs for as many as three new research ships for the agency.
He said constructing and staffing the ships could cost up to $365 million. Bailey said building these new ships are essential because many research fleets throughout the country are aging and are getting retired.
Bailey said the new ships will be more efficient to operate, environmentally sustainable and will have advanced sensors for measuring the atmosphere, ocean water and seafloor.
"We are leading the way in terms of building some of the greatest ships for research that the country's ever made,” Bailey said. “We got input from scientists from around the world, from operators around the world that have fed into the design and capabilities of these ships, and they're just going to be some of the greatest regional class research ships of this type ever made."
Bailey said the second ship will be between 190 and 200 feet long and will be capable of staying out at sea for 21 days before returning to port for fuel and supplies.
Bailey expects the first ship to be completed in early 2021 and expects the second ship to be completed in the fall of 2021. The third ship might be constructed as early as 2022.