A research vessel (RV or R/V) is a ship designed and equipped to carry out research at sea. Research vessels carry out a number of roles. Some of these roles can be combined into a single vessel, others require a dedicated vessel. Due to the demanding nature of the work, research vessels are often constructed around an icebreaker hull, allowing them to operate in polar waters.
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The AI vessel went seaborne on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage to the New World.