Owned by the Office of Naval Research and operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, FLIP is a uniquely stable research platform for scientific missions.
The One and Only FLIP Turns 50 in 2012!
The only one of its kind in the world, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego's FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP) is a 355-foot-long manned spar buoy designed to serve as a stable platform for oceanographic research. Resembling a long baseball bat, FLIP is classified as a "research platform" since it has no propulsion power. Rather, FLIP is towed to its operating area in the horizontal position and, through ballast changes, is "flipped" in about 30 minutes to the vertical position to become uniquely stable. FLIP, owned by the U.S. Navy, is designed to accommodate riders in both horizontal and vertical positions, leading to a unique and sometimes bizarre layout with doors mounted on the floor, portholes in the ceiling, tables bolted sideways to walls, and stairs seemingly leading to nowhere.
Delivering its remarkable research capabilities for half a century, FLIP has supported science in a variety of locations across a spectrum of research projects, including acoustics, marine mammal research, geophysics, meteorology, physical oceanography, and laser propagation experiments.
Carrying a research team of up to 11 and a crew of five, FLIP can sustain research operations for up to 30 days without resupply and can operate either drifting or moored.
To learn more about FLIP, visit the Marine Physcial Laboratory FLIP website.