Research Vessel (R/V) Falkor is the flagship vessel of the Schmidt Ocean Institute , a non-profit foundation. Dedicated to ocean exploration and research, R/V Falkor travels the globe, carrying out Schmidt Ocean Institute’s mission to advance science and sharing of data and information in order to expand understanding of our world ocean.
The 272-foot vessel is equipped with innovative technology needed to explore our ocean. This includes SuBastian , a remotely operated vehicle capable of diving to depths of 14,765 feet (4,500 meters). Falkor also has advanced sonar systems for shallow and deep seafloor mapping; sub-bottom and current profiling; and fisheries studies and other tools, such as a CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) and water sampling system, to collect information about the ocean environment.
R/V Falkor uses a high-bandwidth satellite connection and high-performance computing system to allow scientists on shore to actively participate in expeditions and integrate collected data into models on a near-real-time basis and to plan data collection activities with greater precision, accuracy, and efficiency than possible with traditional approaches. Falkor’s satellite connection also allows for ship-to-shore outreach, with video streaming live from the ship to the Internet.
Scientists are invited yearly to submit proposals to conduct research missions on Falkor. Selected collaborators receive free access to the ship and its technical shipboard support in exchange for a commitment to openly share and communicate data and outcomes of their research. Through this approach, Schmidt Ocean Institute is working towards creating a collaborative marine science community.
Schmidt Ocean Institute also offers artists and students opportunities to participate in science at sea through their Artist-at-Sea and Student Opportunities programs that have an open call for applications every December.
R/V Falkor gets her name from the lucky dragon in fantasy tale, The NeverEnding Story.
Recent Missions Supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research