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Haltor Marine Christens And Launches Advanced Oceanegraphic Research Ship

Advanced ship named in honor of the late U.S. Commerce Secretary, Ronald H. Brown Ronald H. Brown, a new oceanographic research ship named in honor of the late Commerce secretary, was christened by Alma Brown, widow of Secretary Brown, and launched by its builder, Halter Marine Inc., of the Trinity Marine Group.

When delivered in August 1997, the new ship will replace one of two aging ships in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fleet of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Harvey Walpert, Trinity Marine Group senior vice president, Administration, and master of ceremonies at the christening, lauded the late Commerce secretary, as well as the recently deceased Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Boorda, for giving support to the construction of Ronald H. Brown. It is the fourth of a new class of vessels designed and built by Halter Marine. Overall, Ronald H. Brown, originally designated Researcher, is 274 ft. (83.5 m) long, with a 52.5-ft. (16-m) beam and a loadline draft of 17 ft. (5.18 m). It has a displacement of approximately 3,300 long tons, and powered by a 6,000-hp diesel/electric propulsion system.

A unique feature of the Halter design is that all scientific laboratories are located on the main deck, with easy access to other labs and working decks. Lab spaces are designed to facilitate rapid realignment. All labs and decks are equipped with a system of built-in sockets on the floors, walls and overheads, reportedly permitting fast installation of other walls, carrels or equipment. Typical missions can include research on critical physical, chemical, biological, oceanographic and atmospheric processes.

The vessel will be equipped with a dynamic positioning system which provides automated precision track-line and station-keeping capability. The system uses data from a global positioning system an acoustic vertical reference system, a gyro-compass and a wind sensor to control the ship. It will have more than 3,500- sq.-ft. of working deck space and more than 4,000-sq.-ft. of laboratory space.

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