McDonald Island voyage track


The Marine National Facility’s RV Investigator is a state of the art scientific monitoring platform enabling the collection of oceanographic, geoscientific, biological and atmospheric data. The data is collected using both underway and discrete sampling systems and these are managed by the participants on the voyage including MNF support and project personnel. The Marine National Facility aims to make all its research voyage data publicly discoverable and accessible.

CTD launch

CTD launch

Underway data is collected continuously from an array of distributed sensors during each voyage.  The collection of the underway data is managed on board by MNF support staff. A subset of the raw data in near real-time is made publically available ashore via the data visualisation tool MNF Underway Data.

Ashore the raw voyage data is accessed through the MNF Data Librarian and the CSIRO Data Access Portal (DAP). Voyage data is processed by MNF technicians, voyage participants and partners or service providers such as Geoscience Australia and Bureau of Meteorology. Processed datasets are archived as appropriate according to data type. They are discoverable using the metadata tool Marlin. Many can be downloaded using the CSIRO Data Trawler, the Australian Oceanographic Data Network (AODN) and the CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Geophysical Survey and Mapping web pages.  

Investigator has an expanded underway science capability compared to our previous vessel Southern Surveyor. The vessel has a weather research radar continually collecting information and there is expanded capability with undersea mapping and atmospheric monitoring systems. Investigator will deliver to researchers greater volumes of marine data from a wider variety of sensors than ever before.

Data streams

Data streams from an extensive array of instruments and sampling equipment on the vessel include both standard MNF data sets and project science data.

Standard MNF data include Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD), undulating CTD, Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT), hydrochemistry, multibeam and single-beam echosounders, Underway (UWY) and atmospheric data. In addition to standard MNF data, project science data specific to individual voyages is collected using the large complement of MNF equipment provided and the participants’ own scientific equipment.

Each research voyage is both a unique opportunity and an expensive operation. All raw datasets collected on a voyage are placed in a secure archive and made available to MNF support and participating scientists. To accommodate the increased capacity and volume of data collected on Investigator, the End of Voyage (EOV) data will be archived at the CSIRO Data Access Portal (DAP), to provide a permanent archive and improved access for voyage participants. The historical raw data archives for Southern Surveyor and Franklin will be transferred to the CSIRO DAP from the O&A Data centre. Access to historical raw data can be requested via the Data Librarians. Raw datasets are processed into data products usable for a wide range of purposes by the scientific community and the public.

The ability to easily find and access data sets from research voyages is very important and the Marine National Facility aims to make all its voyage data including project science data publicly discoverable and accessible. The standard MNF data sets are described in Marlin, the Oceans & Atmosphere metadata tool.

Accessing data is described in Finding Data Products.

Updated: 10 March 2016