Sun (ship, 2014)

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Sun in Kiel
Sun in Kiel
Ship data
flag GermanyGermany (official flag) Germany
Ship type Research ship
Callsign DBBE
home port Wilhelmshaven
Owner BMBF
Shipping company Briese shipping
Shipyard Meyer shipyard , Papenburg
Build number P. 530
building-costs € 124.4 million
Order May 31, 2011
Keel laying April 12th, 2013
baptism July 11, 2014
Launch 5th April 2014
takeover 17th November 2014
Ship dimensions and crew
118.42 m ( Lüa )
104.59 m ( Lpp )
width 20.60 m
Side height 9.80 m
Draft Max. 6.60 m
measurement 8554 BRZ , 2566 NRZ
crew 35 + 40 scientists
80 people maximum
Machine system
machine Diesel-electric drive
performanceTemplate: Infobox ship / maintenance / service format
2,300 kW (3,127 hp)
15 kn (28 km / h)
4 × diesel generators
powerTemplate: Infobox ship / maintenance / service format
6,480 kW (8,810 hp)
propeller 2 × fixed propellers
Control organs
Retractable azimuth bow thruster

860 kW


2990 kW

Retractable azimuth stern reflector

860 kW

Transport capacities
Load capacity 2350 dw
Container 25 TEU
Permitted number of passengers 40
Scientific equipment


Laboratory space

600 m²

scientific load

300 t


6 (up to 30 t)

Classifications Germanic Lloyd
IMO 9633927

The sun is a German research ship . It was put into service on November 17, 2014 in its home port of Wilhelmshaven and replaced its predecessor of the same name . The ship is owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research . The ship is operated by the project management company Jülich , who creates the travel plans for the sun .


Together with the coastal states of Lower Saxony , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein as well as the two Hanseatic cities of Hamburg and Bremen , Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan agreed to build a new deep-sea research ship in 2008, after the Science Council had recommended it. On May 31, 2011, Schavan and Lower Saxony's Minister of Science, Johanna Wanka, gave the green light for the construction of the deep-sea research ship. The deep sea research ship company , a merger of Meyer Werft from Papenburg and the shipping company RF Forschungsschiffahrt in Bremen, won the Europe-wide tendering process. In August 2011, Schavan and Wanka signed the contract for the construction and management of the new deep-sea research vessel Sonne at the Neptun shipyard in Warnemünde , a subsidiary of Meyer Neptun GmbH , as the ship was originally planned to be built there. However, in order to better utilize the Meyer shipyard, construction was moved to Papenburg.


Model of the sun . Aileron not visible.
Keel laying of the sun on April 12, 2013
The sun in the construction dock of Meyer Werft , March 2014
Chimney of the sun with the ICBM logo

Construction of the research vessel Sonne began on December 4, 2012 in the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, and the keel was laid on April 12, 2013. The commissioning was originally planned for January 2015, but could take place on November 17, 2014 in Wilhelmshaven.

The construction costs amounted to 124.4 million euros. The federal government has taken over 90 percent of this, the remaining 10 percent are shared by the coastal states of Lower Saxony , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Schleswig-Holstein , Hamburg and Bremen . Lower Saxony accounts for almost half of the costs borne by the federal states.

The ship was undocked on April 5, 2014, and the Ems transfer to Emden took place on May 10, 2014. The ship was then tested by Meyer Werft and the scientists. The shipyard test drives ended on June 23, 2014. The ship was christened on July 11, 2014 in Rostock - Warnemünde by Chancellor Angela Merkel and handed over in Wilhelmshaven on November 17 .

The research ship Sonne sails under the federal service flag . It is owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The ship is thus a state ship . The logo of the BMBF as the shipowner is shown on the superstructures.

The sun bears the English word SCIENCE (science) in capital letters on the port and starboard to underline the scientific purpose. As a further identification of the scientific objective, the logo of the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea at the University of Oldenburg with the abbreviation ICBM is attached to the chimney in accordance with maritime law. The ICBM location in Wilhelmshaven is the ship's home port.

Operation and research program

The main areas of application for the sun are the Indian and Pacific Oceans . Here she investigates questions about climate change , the consequences of encroaching on ecosystems and the supply of marine raw materials.

After a Europe-wide new tender, the ship will not be managed by RF Forschungsschiffahrt , Bremen, as originally planned , but by Briese Schiffahrt in Leer. 40 scientists can live and work on the ship. There are 35 individual cabins and lounges available, as well as large laboratories and special facilities. The ship is run by 30 to 35 seamen and ship officers. A total of 60 single cabins and 8 double cabins are available.

The sun set out on its first research trip in December 2014. During the first test drive from October 20 to 24, 2014, the ARD morning magazine broadcast live from the sun . The sun was transferred to the Pacific through the Panama Canal in early 2015 . After research trips to the Discol area and the Clarion-Clipperton zone , the ship set course for New Zealand. From there it drove north to Alaska and after stops in Japan back to Oceania. From New Caledonia, the sun drove along the Kermadec volcanic arc to New Zealand. In autumn 2017 the sun was supposed to return to Germany for its first shipyard visit.

The sun in December 2016 in the port of the New Caledonian capital Nouméa. From there she began her journey into the Kermadec volcanic arc in the South Pacific.


The ship covers the "entire scientific spectrum of marine research". At the stern, it has a large A-frame crane with a lifting force of 30 tons, for example for launching research submarines. Four loading cranes with a lifting capacity of 10 tons, three small cranes and a container loading bridge enable the transport of research material across the entire ship. A winch allows devices to be lowered to the sea floor at a depth of 12,000 meters. The ship has a workshop on deck for heavy mechanical work, as well as workshops for electronics , electrics and precision mechanics . An automatic weather station from the German Weather Service measures the air temperature , wind speed and direction , humidity , air pressure , solar radiation , photosynthetically active radiation , ultraviolet radiation and water temperature . It also has a rain gauge and wave radar . For the measurement of the deep sea ( bathymetry ) and for seismic investigations, high-precision echo sounders are on board and the entire ship is optimized to reduce interference from intrinsic noise and a fold-out stabilization system with active fins minimizes unwanted self-movement of the ship. An interactive graphic from the SO253's expedition blog provides an overview of the sun's nine decks .

Environmental standards

The federal government called for the use of their 2013 published mobility and fuel strategy SCR catalysts and diesel particulate filters . No diesel particulate filter was installed on the federally owned ship, because at that time there was no suitable technology that would continue to guarantee meaningful ship operation. The research ship Sonne has been awarded the Blue Angel . The ship uses low-sulfur diesel fuel, and the exhaust gases are also cleaned of nitrogen oxides. In addition, the optimized hull construction and the diesel-electric drive concept reduce fuel consumption and a waste heat utilization concept increases energy efficiency. Noise and vibrations from the engines have also been reduced to a minimum by elastically mounting all units so that they hardly give off any vibrations to the fuselage. This leads to a much lower noise pollution of the marine fauna in the water column, according to the marine biologist Prof. Dr. Angelika Brandt.


Web links

Commons : Sonne (Schiff, 2014)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Handover of the research vessel "Sonne". November 17, 2014, accessed November 17, 2014 .
  2. New deep sea research ship is being built in Rostock. In: Spiegel Online . May 31, 2011, accessed August 1, 2011 .
  3. Marine and polar research for climate and the environment ( Memento of the original from April 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Federal Ministry of Education and Research , April 12, 2013
  4. Meyer Werft is working on the "sun". In: . February 17, 2014, archived from the original on March 8, 2014 ; accessed on July 15, 2014 .
  5. Meyer Werft lays the "sun" on Kiel ( memento from December 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), NDR, April 12, 2013
  6. ^ Start of burning and start of construction for a new research ship , press release from Meyer Werft, December 5, 2012
  7. New research ship SONNE laid down - deployment from 2015 in the Indian and Pacific Oceans / Another milestone for the modernization of the German research fleet, press release 029/2013 of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research , April 12, 2013.
  8. New research vessel SONNE laid down . Meyer Werft press release, April 12, 2013
  9. Hand over the large floating laboratory "Sonne" ., November 17, 2014.
  10. ^ Research ship "Sonne": floating high-performance laboratory . The Federal Government, November 17, 2014.
  11. Handover of the research vessel SONNE , BMBF press release 122/2014, November 17, 2014.
  12. Wilhelmshaven: Research vessel "Sonne" looks down to the deepest sea floor . In: Hamburger Abendblatt , November 17, 2014.
  13. a b Deep Sea Research Ship Sonne , ICBM, accessed on September 23, 2013.
  14. Marine and polar research for climate and environment . ( Memento of the original from April 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Federal Ministry of Education and Research , April 12, 2013 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  15. The "Sun" is undocked in Papenburg. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014 ; Retrieved April 5, 2014 .
  16. ^ Research ship Sonne successfully transferred. May 10, 2014, accessed May 10, 2014 .
  17. The new research ship “Sonne” leaves building dock I at Meyer Werft. Retrieved April 5, 2014 .
  18. Ems transfer of the research ship Sonne. May 5, 2014, accessed May 7, 2014 .
  19. Work on the research vessel "Sonne" is on schedule. Retrieved June 24, 2014 .
  20. Research ship SONNE successfully completed its technical and nautical test drive. June 23, 2014, accessed June 23, 2014 .
  21. Merkel names research ship “Sonne” from Meyer Werft , Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung , July 11, 2014.
  22. Handover of the large floating laboratory "Sonne" , Norddeutscher Rundfunk , November 17, 2014.
  23. Shipbuilding: Research vessel "Sonne" laid down , In: [[Neue Presse (Hannover) |]], April 12, 2013
  24. SONNE-Rundbrief 2/14 (June 2014) , Project Management Jülich , accessed on November 18, 2014.
  25. a b c d e Klaus von Bröckel: “Sun”: a New Deep Sea Research Vessel . ( Memento of the original from July 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  26. a b c SONNE-Rundbrief 2/14 (June 2014),
  27. Donald Bäcker live from the research ship "Sonne" - On the way on a floating university ( Memento from November 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) on; online on the Internet: November 18, 2014
  28. Expedition blog: Research and life on the SONNE " , accessed on February 22, 2017
  29. Podcast: Status seminar "Marine Research with RV SONNE" , Research for Sustainable Development (FONA), February 16, 2017, last accessed July 2, 2017.
  30. ^ Marie Heidenreich: Interactive graphics of the nine decks of the ship. In: Research and life on the sun, expedition blog for the SO253 . January 10, 2017, accessed August 2, 2017 .
  31. ^ Environmental associations: Federal government sends its own fleet of ships without exhaust technology to sea ,, July 29, 2013
  32. Ships of the Federal Government: Federal Government sends its own fleet of ships without exhaust technology to sea / environmental associations: role model function in terms of climate protection looks different ., July 29, 2013
  33. Ship travels with the Blue Angel ,, July 2016