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The maiden voyage of the Alpha Delphini

The oceanographic vessel: custom-made for studies on the continental shelf

IO / USPThe oceanographic vessel: custom-made for studies on the continental shelfIO / USP

The Alpha Delphini, the first oceanographic vessel built entirely in Brazil, begins its first scientific expedition this month off the coast of Pernambuco, between Itamaraca Island and the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. The vessel, which was built to increase oceanographic research capacity in the state of São Paulo, is part of a University of São Paulo Oceanographic Institute (IO-USP) project under the FAPESP Multi-User Equipment Program (MEP). The Alpha Delphini cost a total of R$5.5 million: R$4 million provided by the FAPESP MEP program and the remainder financed by USP. “The characteristics of the Alpha Delphini oceanographic vessel are ideal for most Brazilian research institutions because it is of medium size, has a relatively low cost compared to oceanographic ships, and is able to perform studies on the continental shelf, which are in great demand,” said Michel Michaelovitch de Mahiques, IO-USP director, to Agência FAPESP. Alpha Delphini’s autonomous range is 10-15 days, depending on the number of crew members, and it can operate throughout a range of 200 nautical miles from the coast. In May of last year, the Alpha Crucis oceanographic research ship also began operating.