Research vessel SONNE
The research vessel SONNE is one of the world's most modern research vessels. After being christened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July 2014, former German Research Minister Johanna Wanka handed over the research vessel to the scientific community in November 2014.
In 2014, German marine science embarked on a new era with the new research vessel SONNE. With a length of 116 meters and a beam of 21 meters, the SONNE is significantly
larger than its predecessor and also raises the bar when it comes to technology: Thanks
to innovative engineering and equipment and improved methods, the researchers
working on SONNE can gain insights into previously uncharted ocean depths.
Some of the vessel's equipment includes state-of-the-art echo sounders and scientific
winches with cables with a length of up to twelve kilometers, which make it possible
to take measurements in oceanic trenches. In addition, researchers can use multiple
underwater vehicles simultaneously to capture images of the ocean floor by stages
and bring back invaluable samples, which scientists can then analyze on board in one
of the vessel's 17 laboratories.
Before SONNE took off on its first research expedition in the Atlantic in December
2014, the vessel traveled along the German coast and made a series of stops so that
people would be able to see the ship for themselves and experience how fascinating
marine science is first-hand. Now, the Pacific and Indian Oceans are the primary area
of operations for SONNE, which is used by marine and Earth scientists as a platform
for conducting their research there. The German research fleet, which in addition
to the SONNE includes the research vessels POLARSTERN, METEOR, MARIA S. MERIAN, and
another twelve mid-sized and small vessels, provides crucial knowledge and findings
for international climate and ocean forecasts. It is a key component
in our ability to plan for our society's future, which is why it is also an integral part
of the program "Research for Sustainable Development (FONA)".
For cruise schedule, please click here.