stability, 300-foot draft, and low acoustic noise levels have made it
uniquely suitable for a wide variety of research experiments.
Hydrophones can be positioned at a variety of depths for listening to
acoustic signals, and the same applies for other instrumentation such
as pressure sensors for measuring wave heights, tilt and depth of FLIP,
or temperature sensors for measuring thermal structure in the ocean.
In order to study the horizontal extent of thermal variations in the ocean,
three booms can be extended so that temperature sensors can be lowered
simultaneously at known distances from one another.
Density variations in the upper levels can be studied with high resolution
Doppler sonar. Meteorological instruments mounted on a vertical mast that
can move up and down at the end of a boom make it possible to make measurements
immediately above the sea surface. FLIP’s deep-sea winch can lower
instrumentation packages to a depth of 4,000 meters. Booms below the waterline
can also be mounted on the hull for obtaining horizontal separation of
The early demonstration of FLIP's unique capabilities as an ocean-going
measurement platform with very low motions has led to its use for many
other programs. A list of papers published as a result of the use of FLIP
demonstrate the versatility of FLIP.
Research conducted on FLIP has included studies of:
relation of temperature variations in the ocean to fluctuations in
intensity and direction of sound waves;
generated from storms in the South Pacific, for which FLIP was stationed
between Hawaii and Alaska;
and thermal structure of the ocean;
amplitude and directionality of internal waves;
transfer between the ocean and atmosphere in which wind velocity,
humidity and temperature profiles immediately above the ocean surface
noise intensity and direction using vertical hydrophone arrays suspended
from FLIP and horizontal arrays (DIMUS) at the bottom of FLIP;
variation in properties of the earth's crust, for which FLIP was used
as a listening platform for explosive sound signals launched from
four ships going away from FLIP in four different directions;
to which whales dive;
of pressure on sound attenuation;
of sound from the sea surface and reverberation.