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Research’s Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) turns 50 (2 videos)

The only one of its kind in the world, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego’s FLoating Instrument Platform (FLIP) is a 355-foot-long manned spar buoy designed to serve as a stable platform for oceanographic research.

Resembling a long baseball bat, FLIP is classified as a “research platform” since it has no propulsion power. Rather, FLIP is towed to its operating area in the horizontal position and, through ballast changes, is “flipped” in about 30 minutes to the vertical position to become uniquely stable.