Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP)

Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP)

C022/6889 Rights Managed

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

Caption: The US Navy's FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP) in horizontal position, being towed to a new location. 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. It is designed to partially flood its stern ballast tanks and pitch backward 90 , resulting in the front 17 metres (left) 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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