RV Solander

A platform for exploring Australia's north west

Designed and purpose-built for multidisciplinary marine science, RV Solander allows our scientists to conduct their research activities and support collaborative undertakings in the waters of tropical north western Australia.

Constructed at a cost of $12.5 million, and partly funded under the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, the new vessel was built by Tenix Defence Pty Ltd in Henderson, Western Australia. With over 30 years experience in operating and working from purpose-built scientific vessels, AIMS researchers and support staff worked closely with the designers, constructors and collaborators to ensure that the unique design would suit the wide range of tasks and operating conditions expected of the vessel.

Having an overall length of 34.9 metres, the vessel accommodates a complement of 18 people who have the use of a suite of research facilities including wet and dry laboratories, office spaces with on-board computing facilities, and spacious deck areas. This allows scientists to tackle multidisciplinary problems, collaborate with scientists from other organisations and train students.

Unique design features of RV Solander include a diver access platform on the port side, a walk-in freezer and a hydrographic A-frame mounted on the starboard side of the vessel for oceanographic instrumentation. An internal moon pool will be used for mounting a range of instruments on the underside of the hull whilst at sea. With a service speed of 11 knots, and a range of 2,700 nautical miles, the vessel conducts approximately 26 research cruises per year each lasting between 7 and 21 days.

The vessel joined our fleet in October 2007, and supports work ranging from marine resource surveys to the deployment of marine observing infrastructure.

Experience the action on the RV Solander in our 360 video - AIMS in Western Australia.