Alaska Region

The NOAA Ship Fairweather is a hydrographic survey ship that was originally commissioned with NOAA in 1968. The ship was deactivated in 1989 but a critical backlog of surveys for nautical charts in Alaska was a motivating factor to reactivate the ship in 2004. “The Fairweather will bring a much-needed capability to the tremendous survey backlog in Alaska waters. I know Ketchikan will give a warm welcome to the vessel and the NOAA families attached to it,” said Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

The Fairweather is designed and outfitted primarily for conducting hydrographic surveys in support of nautical charting, but is capable of many other missions in support of NOAA programs. The ship is equipped with the latest in hydrographic survey technology – multi-beam survey systems; high-speed, high-resolution side-scan sonar; position and orientation systems, hydrographic survey launches, and an on-board data-processing server. Increased mission space and deck machinery enable Fairweather to be tasked with anything from buoy operations to fisheries research cruises.

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