Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP)

Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP)

C022/6887 Rights Managed

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Credit: US Air Force/John F. Williams/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: The US Navy's FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP) transitioning from horizontal to vertical by filling ballast tanks in the stern. FLIP is an open ocean research platform operated by the Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It is engaged in research into acoustics, oceanography, meteorology and marine mammal observation. Launched in 1962, it is 108 metres long and is designed to partially flood and pitch backward 90 , resulting in the front 17 metres pointing up out of the water with bulkheads becoming decks. In this position, the platform is stable as its buoyancy is provided by water at depths below the influence of surface waves. Compressed air is pumped into the ballast tanks to return it to horizontal.

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