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Research vessel Laura Bassi

The research vessel Laura Bassi is the only ocean research vessel owned by a public institute in Italy and the only one available for national research.
The Laura Bassi is a PC5 class A icebreaker and was purchased on 9 May 2019, following the grant awarded to OGS by the 2018 Finance Act, to replace the historic OGS research vessel Explora, which had carried out no fewer than 13 campaigns in Antarctica and the Arctic.
The new ship was flagged and registered with the Trieste district as a major ship on 7 June 2019, and in 2020 obtained the "Polar Code" certification. To date, it is the first and only Italian-flagged ship to have obtained this certification.
The main objective of the R/V Laura Bassi is to provide scientific and logistical support to the Italian polar missions and at the same time to enable oceanographic and geophysical research by the researchers of the institute and the national and European scientific community at a global level and in particular at a polar level.
The ship has been designed as a special vessel, combining both cargo and scientific research capabilities in an optimal way. The ship has a tonnage of 4028 tonnes, is 80 metres long and 17 metres wide, and has a dynamic positioning system that guarantees high manoeuvrability and an accuracy in the order of 1 metre at a given point. Its particularly robust planking structure allows operating in ice-covered seas without fear of structural damage.
The cargo capacity of the R/V Laura Bassi is defined first and foremost by the size of the (heated) cargo hold, which has a volume of 3,000 m3, and by the cargo capacity of the deck and flight deck, which can accommodate more than 14 ISO 20 containers. Overall, the ship can carry a load of approximately 800 tonnes.
During the XXXV Italian Expedition to Antarctica (2019-2020) in the National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA), the ship was engaged for the first time in the Ross Sea area, both to transport material, fuel and personnel and for a series of oceanographic research campaigns.
The research vessel Laura Bassi is part of the European Eurofleets  programme, the alliance of European marine research infrastructure.


Technical information



  • Year Built: 1995
  • Class: ICE 05 E0 – Special Purpose Ship
  • Dynamic Positioning: DP2
  • Lenght: 80 m
  • Breadth: 17 m
  • Gross Tonnage: 4028t


Capacità di carico:

  • Gru da 50 t a 10 metri
  • Stiva da 3000 m3
  • Ponte di volo per elicotteri



  • 50: scientific personnel
  • 22: crew


Research areas:

  • Wet lab: area of 45 m2 (fresh and salt water available - direct access to backdeck)
  • Dry lab: area of 45 m2 (workshop area -  direct access to backdeck)
  • Ampia area di operazioni a poppa
  • Gru telescopica di poppa per messa a mare
  • Gru su ponte di coperta da 5 t a10 m
  • Alloggiamento per container-laboratorio con collegamento diretto all’area operazioni di poppa


La strumentazione scientifica installata a bordo della nave Laura Bassi, comprensiva della strumentazione del sistema GIC del PNRA, è la seguente:

  • Verricello con cavo in kevlar e pastecca contametri in teflon da 6.000 metri
  • Verricello con cavo da 6.000 metri in acciaio con un conduttore coassiale
  • Verricello con gruppo trazione per carotaggi fino a 6000m
  • Presa a mare con tubazione in acciaio INOX e pompa in teflon
  • Laboratorio umido con cappa aspirante e cappa a flusso laminare
  • Laboratorio secco
  • Magnetometro marino Marine Magnetics
  • Termosalinografo
  • Stazione meteo
  • Sistema di Navigazione
  • Carotiere a gravità da 5 metri
  • Multicorer a 12 liners
  • Box corer a scatola rettangolare, carotiere per interfaccia SW104
  • Sistema EK80 Kongsberg con beacon per rete
  • Multibeam  full ocean depth e shallow water
  • Sistema Sub Bottom Profiler (previsto Topas12)
  • Sistema ADCP installato a chiglia
  • Sistema sismico Sercel 428 con streamer digitale allo stato solido da 1.500 metri
  • 2 GI gun
  • Cavo sismico digitale GeoEel da 300 metri
  • Box corer a scatola cilindrica
  • Carotiere a pistone di almeno 12 metri
  • Service boat 6.3 meter LOA