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NUS launches research boat 'The Galaxea'

18 Feb 2010

NUS can now boast of its own research vessel 'The Galaxea'. Launched on 6 February 2010 , the 12m by 5m boat will be shared by the Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) and the NUS Department of Biological Sciences.

Among the guests who graced the launch were NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, Deputy President (Research and Technology) Prof Barry Halliwell, as well as Chairman of TMSI and former NUS Vice-Chancellor Prof Lim Pin.

On 'The Galaxea', Director of TMSI Prof Peter Ng said that some years back, NUS thought of having its own dedicated research boat. " 'The Galaxea' is custom-built to our specifications and will be heavily used by researchers of all disciplines. We hope that this boat will give us at least 10 years of service."

There have already been projects making use of the research boat has been supporting projects such as the open sea operations of STARFISH (Small Team of Autonomous Robotic FISH) AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) led by Head of Acoustic Research Laboratory Dr Mandar Anil Chitre. Another project led by Deputy Head of Acoustic Research Laboratory Dr Venugopalan Pallayil which involves collecting underwater acoustic data through the mini-Panda (Pop-up Ambient Noise Data Acquisition) system, has already signed a licensing agreement with ST Engineering (InfoComm) to produce the system commercially.

Researchers from the Department of Biological Sciences will also benefit from the use of the boat. For Dr Peter Todd, who is currently working towards establishing a giant clam restocking programme in Singapore, 'The Galaxea' plays a critical role in accessing remote islands and supporting diving operations.