New hydrogen-powered coastal research vessel under development in California
© UC San Diego

New hydrogen-powered coastal research vessel under development in California

California legislators have allocated $35m for a new 125-foot coastal research vessel with a first-of-its-kind hydrogen-hybrid propulsion system.

Developed by UC San Diego, and to be operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the vessel will as a platform for education and research dedicated to understanding the California coast and climate change impacts to the coastal ecosystem.

Expected to take three years to design, build, and commission, the completed vessel will replace Research Vessel Robert Gordon Sproul, which has served thousands of University of California students in its nearly 40 years of service but is nearing completion of its service life.

Commenting on the development, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, said, “Scripps Institution of Oceanography has guided countless UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff through invaluable scientific projects aboard the Robert Gordon Sproul, and conducted ground-breaking research on climate change and the impact of plastics in our oceans.

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