Modernization of the RV Thalassa

The modernization of Thalassa has been done with the support of Europe: Feder (5.2 M€), ANR (10 M€) and Brittany region  (0.9 M€).


Delivered in 1995, Thalassa is an oceanographic research vessel deployed for the most part on public service missions relating to fisheries, fishery research and physical oceanography. She is designed to deploy the remotely controlled vehicle Victor 6000, which allows her to partially satisfy requests for deep-environment missions.

After twenty years of use, IFREMER scheduled works to modernize the vessel so that she can maintain the level of performance necessary for her to accomplish missions in fisheries research and physical oceanography. The aim was also to increase her potential at sea by fitting her with equipment that will enable her to undertake missions related to geosciences and the environment.

Given that her regular activities for the DCF and the MSFD take place in the Channel, North Sea and the Atlantic, the Thalassa operates mostly in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Modernizing works focus on enabling the vessel to perform missions in waters no deeper than 4500 metres.

Major changes involve the following:

  • Installing new acoustic equipment in the hull and the keel: multibeam echo sounders, sub-bottom profiler, single-beam transducers used in fishery cruises, and fishery multibeam echo sounder. Refitting IT equipment and ship’s network.
  • Enhancing the deployment of submersible systems, implementing a “clean” CTD profiler for analysing trace metals in the water column, installing an oceanographic crane.
  • Refurbishing the main working areas. The scientific operations room has been entirely redone, the meeting room has been reorganized, the sorting room has been rearranged, and the laboratories on the working deck and the wheelhouse have been renovated.
  • Replacing the controls of the main engine and the four diesel generating sets, the ship’s energy management systems, the alarm management system and the fire detection unit, and the regulated power supply.
  • Various works needed to keep the vessel in service for the next twenty years.