In 1960, at the height of the "cold war" the rapid development of the US nuclear submarine fleet required new methods of missile guidance. In this regard, the military leadership shipbuilders were offered a unique concept for acoustic research, after which the United States will receive the newest ways to missile guidance. Soon after the project was implemented by the Institute of Naval Research and the Marine Physical Laboratory at the Institute of Oceanography Scripps.
The creators were scientists Fred Fisher and Fred Spiess. To study the propagation of sound waves under water they offered an unusual design. In 1962 the company «Gunderson Brothers Engineering» was built a unique vessel dubbed «FLIP» («Floating Instrument Platform»), which translated to English means "floating platform for instrumental studies." After spending the first sea trials, scientists realized the importance of the discovery. Because now the person an opportunity to further study the circulation of water, the formation of storm and movement of seismic waves, and this is just part of the study subjects.
For the past 48 years, the research vessel «FLIP» successfully continues to be operated and owned by «The Gunderson Brothers Engineering Company». In 1995, the ship was modernized, it was spent about $ 2 million. New home port became La Jolla, California.
Unique vessel «FLIP» is the ability to make vertical position and back out of it. In addition to the science lab and office space for the crew occupy most of the ballast tanks.
Translation from horizontal to vertical position is performed for 30 minutes
Operator filled compartments 7H, 3H partially 1B. When a water compartment number 6H, the platform starts a revolution. Compartments 1H, 2 and 4 is also filled with water. Filled compartment 1B and 3B allows you to control the sink rate. When the ballast is over a set, Kingston closed and the flow of water ceases and the platform is in a position with an inclination of 45 degrees. Then the vessel «FLIP» at 5, 6 km / h reaches the vertical position. The operator aligns by setting the water level in compartment No. 7, ensuring a strictly vertical position.
Stability of the vessel is achieved by holding three anchors of a total mass of 9 tons. In some cases, the NIS «FLIP» drifting in the ocean waters.
This unique vessel has no propulsion of its own, but is equipped with shunting propeller with a hydraulic drive. Its function is to maintain a stable state by turning the vessel around a vertical axis.