Marion Dufresne’s archives

Email This Page


  • 3 GPS navigation systems (with SkyFix differential correction)
  • Doppler speed log, gyro-compass, time-server
  • PosMV320 Attitude control and navigation system
  • Posidonia Ultra-short baseline underwater acoustic positioning system
  • Simrad Albatross Dynamic positioning system


  • Aanderaa Central weather station and acoustic anemometer
  • 2 distribution circuits for “clean” sea water to laboratories
  • 2 continuous- thermosalinographs, 2 RDI acoustic Doppler current profilers
  • 3 bathymetric sounders, 1 24 bottle carousel (rosette)


  • Multibeam echosounder, TSM 5265B (SF11 revision 2) dual frequency (12 kHz and/or 3.5 kHz) with sea bottom profiler
  • Analogue echo-sounder system (3.5, 12, 18 kHz)
  • Monobeam echo sounder, ODEC Bathy 2000, 4 frequencies (3.5, 12, 18, 34 kHz)
  • Marine proton magnetometer, Geometrics G886
  • Marine gravimeter, Lacoste & Romberg n° S77 (revision 2: digital and gyrolaser)
  • Seismology: 2 onboard seismic compressors, Luchard 150 m³/h

IT and Telecommunications

  • Data acquisition and archiving, video control, 10/100 Ethernet network, Intranet
  • Computer workstations (Sun, HP, IBM), computer terminals (PC and Mac), plotters and printers
  • Software: Mathlab, General Mapping Tools (GMT), Caraïbes TR/TD (@Ifremer)
  • 2 Inmarsat systems (M and B), 1 Iridium telephone, marine VHF transceiver
  • Batched e-mail and data transmission (64 kbits Inmarsat B)


  • Total surface area: 650 m², potential for adding lab containers (> 12) on decks and helicopter platform

Integrated rear heavy sampling (SIAMOIS)

  • 33 t new-generation belt capstan, compatible with aramid cable (50 t)
  • 3 x 7500 m reels of large-diameter cable (up to 30 mm)
  • 2 x 10/30 t long-travel gantries (back and side)
  • 3 handling winches, 2 cranes (18 t and 3 t), winches, telescopic booms
  • 20-foot mobile platforms equipped with trawl winches and large-diameter reels
  • A range of large-diameter samplers
  • Dredges…

Core drilling plant

  • CALYPSO Giant corer (10 t – length 70 m)
    and its handling system: telescopic booms, integrated winches, platforms and telescopic supports
  • Giant square corer CASQ (0.25 m² x 12 m)

For all information on sedimentary coring : Marine sediments and palaeoecology

Light starboard oceanography facilities (ILOT System)

  • 2 x 4 t traction winches (compatible with aramide)
  • 3 reels, 2 electric cables (diameter 11.5), one 8 t aramide cable
  • Double long-travel gantry
  • Bathymetric sounding point


Floating University

  • The Marion Dufresne regularly hosts students as part of the Floating Universities scheme.
  • The Teachers at Sea programme has the purpose of taking secondary school teachers aboard.
  • The Versailles education authority offers on its site educational activities on the topic “Marine sediments and palaeoclimate”, which use core samples collected in 2008 during the AMOCINT campaign.

What is a Floating University ?     

A Floating University offers Masters or higher level students from France or overseas a unique opportunity for ocean-going scientific discovery and data acquisition and to take advantage of high-level international training from the onboard scientific team.

To meet this objective, the programme provides intense series of daily courses on subjects related to the host research campaign: especially global climate change, marine environment and palaeoecology. Accompanying lecturers, other scientist aboard but also Marion Dufresne technical officers ensure the instruction and training. Students also become directly involved in the operations of an international scientific research team in that they must take full part in scientific watch duties.
Other training offered covers international scientific communication and exchange of knowledge in English. They have to write a report in English and do a project in pairs to devise two posters (one scientific and one technical) focusing on a specific research activity. The posters are presented before a jury at the end of the mission and classified by order of merit.

Another goal of the Floating University is to give students from developing countries in the zone covered by the ongoing oceanographic campaign the opportunity to gain the knowledge they need for taking part in the global debate on the uses of the oceans.

Latest floating universities

  • 10th Floating University during the AMOCINT campaign (MD168)

Leader: Jacques DEVERCHERE, lecturer-researcher at the Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer – IUEM (Brest).
Participants: 6 students from IUEM
Dates: 15 June to 10 July 2008
Place: North Atlantic with embarkation at Las Palmas (Canaries) and disembarkation at Brest.
Note: A tour of the University of Las Palmas was made before departure; exhibition of posters produced during the AMOCINT campaign held during the Brest 2008 event.

  • 11th Floating University during the MICROSYSTEMS campaign (MD169)

Leader: David GRAINDORGE, Lecturer at IUEM
Participants: 1 student from LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Envirionnement), 3 students from IUEM, 2 Spanish students from University of La Coruña
Dates: 15 July to 25 July 2008
Place: North Atlantic with embarkation at Brest and disembarkation at Algeciras (Spain)

Find the Log of the 8th Floating University (MD155 MARCO POLO 2) on line from: site du laboratoire EPOC.