The research fleet of the CONICET, which comprises the “ARA Austral” and “ARA Puerto Deseado”, has departed from Mar del Plata towards the rescue area after the “search and rescue” declaration. The vessel of the Council is well equipped as it has cutting edge technology to search for the submarine that went missing on Wednesday.
As the vessels, unique in their kind, belong to the Argentine Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), the president of this institution had to approve the change of route and make them available for the search.
There is technology of the Austral Vessel that is vital to look for the submarine: the ParaSound P70 sub-bottom profiler and the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling Ocean Surveyor 38kHz. The installation of the lastest Multibeam probe to measure depths provides this vessel with world specificity that only this ship has in Argentina.
The Austral has a capacity of 52 people -25 crew and 27 scientists- and comprises six cabinets: of seismology, compressed air for seismic, hydroacoustics, oceanography, geology and chemistry. As regards the equipment, the vessel has one oceanographic winch that can also be used for magnetic prospecting; dredgers with built-in camcorders; receivers of satellite images and weather chart; and a system for observing the sea floor, among operational capabilities and more equipment.
The vessel is 97.6 meters long and weights about 4,734 tons. For its propulsion, it uses an electrical diesel system that allows it to reach a speed of 12,5 knots.
The ARA “Puerto Deseado” Oceanographic Vessel is the second ship that belongs to the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and was sent to the rescue area. This vessel (BOPD in Spanish) conducts annual research expeditions on atmosphere, fishery monitoring, geology and marine biology, geobiology, oceanography and studies on the pollution of the Patagonian coast, Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica.
CONICET’s ships are part of the “Pampa Azul”, a strategic initiative of different ministries that conducts research in the Argentine Sea. These studies are aimed at developing the scientific knowledge for the preservation and administration of natural resources.