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Wednesday, March 11, 2020 

The 'Atair' survey, wreck-search and research vessel currently under construction at Fassmer in Berne, Germany is to be equipped with Schottel propulsion systems.

Ordered by the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), the vessel meets the highest environmental standards and is thought to be the first seagoing government agency vessel with low-emission liquid gas propulsion.

The propulsion system of the Atair comprises a Schottel Pump Jet type SPJ 220 (1,000kW), one Schottel Transverse Thruster type STT 1 FP (330kW) in the bow and one Schottel Transverse Thruster type STT 170 FP (200kW) in the stern. The vessel thus achieves maximum manoeuvrability. The Pump Jet can also be used as a standby unit (take-home device).

The vessel’s underwater noise has been optimised to meet the DNV GL Silent Class Notation (Silent R). The Schottel propulsion units are characterised by particularly low noise emissions. This ensures a protected maritime environment as well as optimal conditions for scientific work aboard the vessel.

The Atair is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). There is a large 130m³ tank on board which enables the ship to run on LNG alone for 10 days. When opting for diesel operation (dual fuel), high-quality diesel fuel oil with a sulphur content less than 0.1% is used.

The new BSH ship complies with the stringent IMO Tier III standards for the emissions of NOx as well as the regulations of the US EPA Tier 4 for soot particle emissions. It meets the requirements for the 'Blue Angel' awarded by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment for eco-friendly ship design.

The vessel can accommodate a total of 18 crew members and 15 scientists. The equipment includes several laboratories, a station for measuring air pollution while at sea, a crane, a bridle beam for geological activities on the seabed, a large 200m² work deck and extensive diving equipment – including a diving chamber.

The Atair is 75m long and about 17m wide, making it the largest research vessel in the BSH fleet. The new vessel, whose home port will be Hamburg, will replace the previous Atair, which entered operation in 1987. It is due to be commissioned in the spring of 2020.

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