Construction of Oregon State University’s (OSU) new research ship R/V Taani has commenced in Houma, Louisiana, US.

Gulf Island Shipyards is currently building the vessel, which is the first in a series of Regional Class Research Vessels funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF has provided $121.88m to OSU for the construction of Taani, which will have a range of over 5,000 nautical miles. It will have a cruising speed of 11.5k and a maximum speed of 13k.

Once completed, the 199ft vessel will be equipped with berths for 16 scientists and 13 crew members.

The vessel will feature solutions to carry out detailed seafloor mapping to provide information on geologic structures in subduction zone earthquakes that may trigger tsunamis.

Taani will be designed to sail at sea for around 21 days and will regularly send data to shore through a satellite.

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The vessel will be deployed in the US West Coast to conduct various research missions.

“The research is critical to informing strategies for coastal resilience, food security and hazard mitigation.”

Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences dean Roberta Marinelli said: “This new class of modern vessels will support future research on the physical, chemical, biological and geologic processes in coastal waters.

“The research is critical to informing strategies for coastal resilience, food security and hazard mitigation, not only in the Pacific Northwest but around the world.”

OSU is also responsible for the design, shipyard selection, construction and transition to operations for around three new Regional Class Research Vessels for the US Academic Research Fleet, as part of a deal awarded by NSF.

NSF has already provided funding to OSU for the construction of a second, similar research vessel, which will be operated by a consortium of the University of Rhode Island.