Technology Projects > Vessel Management cell > Introduction

Augmenting Coastal and Oceanic Research capabilities of the country have always been a priority for the Indian Government. With this, NIOT/MoES proudly owns four Research Vessels to enhance research and exploration competencies for the benefit of the country and her citizens in multiple dimensions.

Vessel Management Cell [VMC] is an operational wing of NIOT responsible for the operations and technical management of the NIOT fleet of Research Vessels viz. Ocean Research Vessel [ORV] Sagar Nidhi, ORV Sagar Manjusha, Coastal Research Vessel [CRV] Sagar Tara and CRV Sagar Anveshika

Research Vessels under VMC-NIOT are the most salient feature in any of the ocean-going venture. They are the versatile ocean observing platforms equipped with advanced navigational equipment, state of the art scientific equipment and mechanical handling system that allow scientists/oceanographers to explore ocean environments for various objectives viz., technology demonstration, oceanic survey, sampling, observations, explorations, etc. Interdisciplinary approach and related activities are being tested and validated in the ocean using this Research Vessels which are the primary source of oceanographic observations and will remain so for the unforeseeable evolution.

Since Inception of VMC:

Established back in 1996, with an aim to manage two Coastal Research Vessels [CRV] Sagar Purvi and CRV Sagar Paschimi acquired by the Ministry of Earth Sciences [MoES], for understanding coastal pollution, coastal pollution monitoring, coastal surveys and near shore multidisciplinary work. Both the vessels have been decommissioned now after contributing immense service to the scientific community and the Nation since 1996.

During 2001, VMC committed to manage a barge, Sagar Shakthi that was used for implementing 1MW gross pilot plant to demonstrate Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion [OTEC] technology, which is first ever attempt in the world with a major success.

In 2006, ORV Sagar Manjushawas acquired, a specialised vessel built by Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) for deployment of data buoys and for various other scientific activities. It can accommodate eleven scientists, eight officers and ten crews. It is equipped with two bow thrusters, specialised deck cranes, deep sea winch with A-Frame for carrying out scientific activities.

Later in 2008, a world class ORV Sagar Nidhi joined the NIOT fleet of Research Vessels. ORV Sagar Nidhi is only of its kind in India, built at Fincantieri, Italy. ORV Sagar Nidhi, India's pride and most sophisticated ice class multi-disciplinary vessel of the sub-continent is having a fully automatic diesel-electric propulsion with azimuth and bow thrusters, Dynamic Positioning class II (DP II) system, a deep-sea winch to hoist 60 tonnes from a depth of 6000 m with highly advanced operational success. This vessel is being utilized for carrying out multidisciplinary research and technology demonstration work viz. Deep-Sea mining, Remotely Operable Submersible (ROSUB), Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), Exploration of gas hydrates, oceanographic, meteorological, geological research. It is designed with blue water capability upto 10000 nautical miles for voyages lasting upto 45 days. ORV Sagar Nidhi, is also the first Indian flagged research vessel that reached the 660S latitude, facing 11 storms and 73nm/hr [135 Km/hr] wind speed, witnessing nature's harshest conditions and awesome breath-taking sceneries of Antarctica.

In order to the augment the observational and sampling capabilities of our scientific community in Indian coastal waters and to meet the future demand of Scientific fraternity, CRV Sagar Tara and Sagar Anveshika joined the NIOT fleet of research vessels during August, 2019 and February, 2020 respectively under the initiative by the government of India to promote ‘Make in India’ policy.

Both Ships are equipped with the advanced scientific equipment and latest navigational equipment with a role of measuring oceanographic and atmospheric data within the Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] of India.

Scientific &Operational capabilities onboard CRV Sagar Tara & Sagar Anveshika:

  • Wheel House with latest navigation & communication equipment.
  • Engine control room & dedicated winch control station.
  • Accommodation & Recreation room
  • Sophisticated handling systems viz., CTD Winch [1T], Oceanographic Winch [1T] & General-Purpose Winch [3T] with Stern A-Frame [5T], Port Side A-Frame [2T], J-Frame [2T].
  • Large working Deck Space for scientific operations.
  • Dedicated wet lab & dry lab with latest scientific equipment for insituanalysis & preservation of samples & data onboard [Shallow water Multibeam/Single beam Echo sounders, ADCP, Sub bottom profiler, CTD, Autosal, Auto analyzer, Portable nutrient analyzer, Centrifuge, Thermosalinograph, Autoclave and other onboard analysis equipment]
  • Drop keel arrangement for mounting SONARS without dry docking.
  • Flap rudders for enabling excellent manoeuvring ability.

  • These ships are extensively utilized for shallow water operations [Sea Water Quality Monitoring (SWQM), shallow water testing of various underwater components, technology demonstration, Drugs from sea, Bathymetry survey of Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ], Environmental indexing of ships and coastal zones and etc., along entire Indian coast for the various programmes of MoES and a national facility for ocean research.

    Incessant efforts and regular follow up are ensured by the VMC team on various technical / operational issue onboard ships results to operate the research ships as per the approved cruise schedule. In addition, persistent approach is put up to develop and implement low-cost innovative engineering and green technology solutions for various technical issues that occurs onboard ships. These engineering solutions have increased the reliability, safety and technological performance of shipboard system and have enhanced the operational time by minimizing down time hence benefitting the scientific community to a great extent.