When observing the sea, it is many times important to get there too. That´s why a research vessel is needed.
The research is done from many kinds of vessels according to the target. For example, on the coastal areas the vessels can be smaller than in the oceans. In the wintertime, when there is ice, the requirements are different than in summertime. The most important thing is to be able to set and lift measuring instruments to the sea and up from it safely.
A research vessel is used to do measurements in the sea but also to install and maintain the instruments that measure continuously in the sea. For example, lifting and setting the buoys is usually done from a research vessel.
Finland´s most significant ship in the Baltic Sea research is the Finnish Environment Institute´s Aranda, that is also used by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Aranda has regular monitoring cruises of the Baltic Sea state, for example. There the measurements are done on the same places. That´s how we get knowledge about the current conditions and their changes in the Baltic Sea.
Observations from the ships
Ordinary vessels may also make observations that benefit oceanographic research too. There might be instruments installed that send oceanographic data automatically. These measure sea temperature, salinity and chemical and biological substances and properties, for example. Also observations the crew does about the ice situation and vessel icing, for example, are useful.