Story of a transformation
The PlanetSolar DeepWater exhibition is the first to use a solar ship as a scientific platform. Behind this innovative project lies a lovely encounter.
In the summer of 2012, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar had just completed its trip around the world when the members of the shore crew made the acquaintance of Martin Beniston, a climatologist at the University of Geneva. A common interest immediately became apparent. With a brand new crew, PlanetSolar would like to continue its activity, whose objective is to highlight one of the current technological solutions to the climate problem by showing the practical applications of the boat. Meanwhile, Martin Beniston sees PlanetSolar as a unique opportunity to gather scientific data at sea, with the guarantee that the atmospheric measurements will not be distorted by residues associated with fuel combustion as an added bonus.
Thus began the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar’s delicate transformation into a scientific platform. In a few months, a team of researchers was formed, and their instruments were installed onboard.
MS Tûranor PlanetSolar dry-docked at La Ciotat
MS Turanor PlanetSolar
The instruments installed onboard the MS Turanor PlanetSolar measure both atmospheric and ocean parameters :
Weather sensors : temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation
Grimm and Biobox : size, abundance, and composition of aerosols
Ferrybox and CTD : temperature, pressure, salinity, oxygen, photosynthetic pigments
ADCP : speed and direction of the currents
The Biobox, an optimized aerosol analyzer for the expedition
Atmospheric aerosols can be separated into different categories according to their composition and origin. Each of these categories has particular properties, whose impacts on the climate are still poorly assessed. The Biobox, developed by the applied physics groups at the University of Geneva, is currently the only instrument that can instantly determine the identity of aerosols using laser technology. It will be tested for the first time aboard the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar.