Presidium of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS)

The study team was hosted by Academician George B. Elyakov, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), and Chairman of the Far Eastern Branch (FEB). The FEB RAS, founded a quarter century ago, is headquartered in Vladivostok. The branch has six regional centers and is composed of 35 institutes, two native preserves, and one special marine preserve. The three preserves are used for science and environmental protection studies. The Magadan Territorial Center for Arctic studies has a cooperative program with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. A major goal of the branch's efforts is the study of the use of resources, both on land and at sea, of the Russian Far East. The total staff of the FEB is a little over 8,000. There are 10 academicians in the FEB.

The branch has the largest research fleet of the RAS. There are 15 ships ranging in size from a few hundred tons to over 6200 tons. Most of this fleet is homeported in Vladivostok. The majority of these vessels are currently inactive due to lack of funding.

[Figure 1_1]
Fig. 1.1. Vladivostok harbor, October 1995

[figure 1_2]
Fig. 1.2. Inactive oceanographic research vessels in Vladivostok harbor.

The major research directions of FEB institutes are earth sciences, biology, biotechnology, physics and technical sciences, chemistry, and the social sciences. Academician Elyakov said that funding in the branch is now half what it was before Perestroika. He encourages and supports joint projects with other countries that will use his people and facilities.

The Far Eastern State Technical University (FESTU)

Founded in 1899 as the "Oriental Institute," since 1923 the "Far Eastern Polytechnical Institute," it was renamed by decree of the Russian Federation government in December 1992. Overall, FESTU is reported to rank in the top 100 Russian universities. The university has approximately l0,000 students and four branch campuses. A faculty of 700 includes three academicians, 100 doctors of science, and 400 candidates for doctors of science ("candidate" is roughly equivalent to Ph.D.). Among the disciplinary areas covered by the university's 18 major departments are electrical engineering, radio and instrumentation, natural sciences, architecture, naval engineering, economics and management, mechanical engineering, heat and power engineering, and the humanities. A six-year program is offered for a bachelor's diploma degree in naval engineering. Ph.D. programs are offered in ocean science, ship construction, and other fields in technology, economics, math, and philosophy. The humanities program emphasizes technical language understanding in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Approximately 36 students from different countries are enrolled in FESTU.

Academician Gennady Turmov, president of FESTU, showed the WTEC team four ocean engineering projects. The first two were remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), the third used optical fibers as sensors for ocean tomography, and the fourth was an artificial neural network to interpret sensor data. The team was told that 39 ROVs have been designed by FESTU. Most of them were designed for hydroacoustical, magnetic, and photographic work. The team saw three of these ROVs. FESTU's two 6,000 meter Roby submersibles (Fig. 1.3) were used to recover the flight recorder from Korean Airlines' Flight 007 in the Sea of Japan. These vehicles were designed for rescue operations, taking photo surveys, and coring. They are also equipped with manipulators for work tasks.

The Pacific Oceanological Institute (POI)

Founded in 1973, the Pacific Oceanological Institute in Vladivostok is the major institute of the FEB RAS. It has a staff of over 600, including approximately 270 scientists. Researchers at the institute conduct experiments along the Pacific Rim from the Bering Sea to the South China Sea. In addition, POI actively participates in international projects such as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE).

[figure 1_3]
Fig. 1.3. ROV Roby (Far Eastern State Technical University, Vladivostok).

[figure 1_4]
Fig. 1.4. Anties ROV packaged system (Far Eastern State Technical University, Vladivostok).

The POI laboratories and departments focus on the following research areas:

The Institute of Marine Technology Problems (IMTP)

The IMTP was founded in 1988 by Academician Mikhail D. Ageev, who is also a fellow of the U.S. Marine Technology Society. The scientific staff of the institute consists of 90 people. One is an academician of the RAS, one a corresponding member of the RAS, three are academicians of the Academy of Engineering Sciences, and 19 are professors and doctors of science.

Facilities include about 2,000 square meters of laboratory space, computer-aided design (CAD) engineering capabilities, experimental production workshops, a high pressure (21,900 psi or 49,200 ft.) test chamber, and a small research vessel. The high pressure facility is located at a separate site from the main institute, while the research vessel is in Vladivostok's inner harbor.

Scientific investigations and technical developments are carried out in underwater robotics, hydrophysics, renewable energy sources, and marine ecological systems monitoring. The work in underwater robotics actually began in the early 1970s when this technical staff was part of another institute. Some of their AUVs were built during this time.

The primary programs of the IMTP are as follows:

The institute has maintained close scientific and technical contacts with universities, institutes, and companies in China, France, South Korea, and the United States. It has built specialized AUVs for customers in the People's Republic of China, in South Korea, and in the United States.

[figure 1_5
Fig. 1.5. 1970s era ROV SKAT (Institute for Marine Technology Problems, Vladivostok).

[figure 1_6]
Fig. 1.6. MT-88 autonomous underwater vehicle. Bow of view shows four electromagnets for detachable iron ballast plates
(Institute for Marine Technology Problems, Vladivostok).

[figure 1_7]
Fig. 1.7. The constructive base of the Tunnel Sea Lion. 1--Main Thrusters (3); 2--Fiberoptic Cable Spool; 3--Ballasting Vessel; 4--Transceiver; 5--Connection Box; 6--Main Battery and Electronics; 7--Connection Box; 8--Lateral Thrusters (2); 9--Sonar Transducers (5); 10--TV Camera Housing (Institute for Marine Technology Problems, Vladivostok).

The Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (PIBC)

The PIBC was founded in 1964. Academician Elyakov has been its director for 30 years. The primary research focus is on the study of marine organisms at the molecular level. This direction offers the greatest potential for discovery of bioactive substances that can be used for the benefit of man.

The work of the PIBC has attracted foreign interest from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, major drug companies, and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (U.S.). Foreign organizations are very interested in the 8,000 strain reference collection developed by PIBC. The Institute has a staff of 350, which includes 70 Ph.D.s and 25 doctors of science. Many of the support staff are involved with the operation and maintenance of the research vessel Akademik Oparin.

The institute now produces some commercial products which are sold on the market, but since it is part of the government (as part of the FEB RAS), institute researchers do not enjoy much freedom of action. Director Elyakov said that the institute's dream is to set up a company, independent of the government, to develop and market a variety of commercial products based on their biotechnology discoveries.

The Research Vessel Akademik Oparin

The WTEC team visited and inspected the Akademik Oparin in port in Vladivostok's inner harbor (Fig. 1.8). The ship is operated by the PIBC. Built in Finland in 1985, it is 75 meters long and displaces 2,600 tons.

The Oparin was designed to support marine biosciences, specifically biomedical marine research. It is one of a few research vessels in the world equipped for this type of research work at sea. The vessel has 14 well-equipped laboratories, diver facilities, and a large decompression chamber. The laboratories are spacious, and deck space is available for mission-related vans. An A-frame on the stern is available for handling oceanographic equipment. The ship is equipped with a vivarium to house rodents used in research experiments. At least one nuclear magnetic resonator is installed on board, and a photo lab is available for real time photographic support. A central computer system provides the ability to process data quickly and send it ashore to the institute by satellite link.

In recent years, the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in the United States has conducted collaborative work with PIBC personnel on board the ship. The PIBC is actively looking for other foreign partners for joint scientific projects. Present funding limitations for the FEB RAS mean that Oparin can go to sea as a research ship only a few days a year.

When not involved in research, the ship is sometimes used to transport automobiles from Japan to Vladivostok. In this way, the vessel can be kept operational in the present time of greatly reduced funding support for seagoing research in Russia.

[figure 1_8]
Fig. 1.8. Research Vessel Academik Oparin, Pacific Institute for Bioorganic Chemistry.
Ship model at Far Eastern State Technical University, Vladivostok.
The Institute of Marine Biology (IMB)

At this site visit, the panel was briefed by Dr. Vitaly G. Tarasov, acting director. The Institute of Marine Biology was founded in 1967. The basic focus for research activities is the near shore coastal areas of the Russian Far East. The goal of the research is the balanced conservative use of the marine resources of the region and the protection of these resources from environmental damage.

The IMB employs 450 people, 300 of whom are research staff. The remaining 140-150 are engineers and technicians. The institute has 20 laboratories, four field stations, and the Far East State Marine Reserve. Two small vessels support coastal projects. Most of the scientists are divers.

Dr. Tarasov said that Peter the Great Bay has the greatest biodiversity in East Asia because this area is influenced both by the warm Kuroshio and cold Oyashio currents. Work is being done to study the effects of dredging in the Kuriles, the impact of past nuclear waste dumping in the Sea of Okhotsk, an assessment of fish stocks in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, and the biofouling of offshore platforms near Sakhalin. In addition, environmental assessment work is being done in the river delta area where North Korea, China, and Manchuria propose to build a major new seaport and railhead.

The institute has also developed cooperative projects with the University of Washington, the University of Alaska, and Hokkaido University. IMB is actively looking for new international cooperative ventures.

Joint Stock Companies Varyag and Dalpribor

During the visit to Varyag, the panel was briefed by Evgeniy N. Leonov, director, and Yuri A. Filchenok, vice president of foreign relations. Varyag was a state-owned factory formed fifteen years ago to produce Navy and merchant marine equipment. The company manufactures short-run specialty products in what would be called a "job shop" in the West. The team visited some of their shop facilities. While the equipment was older, it was well maintained and adequate for this type of production.

Now Varyag is a joint stock company with ownership by both private investors and the government. At present, its major products are consumer goods and medical equipment. Examples of consumer products are telephones, tape players, and a variety of plastic goods.

Even though Russian labor costs are low and labor force skill levels are high, the company is not competitive in the international marketplace. This is mostly due to multi-layered Russian taxes which reduce the price competitiveness of potential export products.

Dalpribor (also a joint stock company) is producing hydroacoustic fish finders, echo sounders, thermos bottles, hair dryers, etc. While the WTEC team did not make a site visit to Dalpribor, Josif Kanevsky, its technical director, briefed the panel at the time they visited Varyag.

Under the USSR, Dalpribor produced a variety of technical products for the shipbuilding industry. Its present situation is quite similar to that of Varyag. Both companies have lost about 50% of their business since Perestroika. With taxes on their products running as high as 90% of the value of the exports, it is unlikely that these will be viable enterprises for exports from Russia.

Institute for Automation and Control Process (IAPU)

The IAPU was established in 1971 by Academician A. A. Voronov to research control theory, computer science, and mathematical modeling and simulation. The institute presently has a staff of 250 people, including a research staff of 112. This staff includes two academicians, 14 doctors of science, 54 candidates of science, and four corresponding members of the RAS. The director is Academician V. P. Myasnikov.

The six departments of the institute are as follows:

*departments visited by the WTEC team

Institute of Chemistry The Institute of Chemistry was established in 1971 from the chemistry department of the Far Eastern State Technical University. The current staff is 200. In 1991 the staff was 345. The institute comprises 14 laboratories and an engineering technical center. The WTEC team toured four of these laboratories:


The Presidium of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS)

The study team was hosted by Academician Yurii Shokin, chairman of the Siberian branch. The SB RAS, founded in 1957, is headquartered in the Akademgorodok near Novosibirsk. This branch covers a larger geographic area of Russia than the other two branches of the RAS.

The branch has 12 regional centers and is composed of 74 research institutes and experimental design offices covering the fields of physics, mathematics, and technical, chemical, biological, geological, and social sciences. The branch employs 40,000 people. Among the 9,000 research staff of the Siberian branch are about 55 academicians, 64 corresponding members of the RAS, 700 doctors of science and 5,000 candidates of sciences. Academician Shokin in his remarks mentioned that the branch is experiencing decreasing budgets. He regards the branch as a large research corporation.

Institute of Automation and Electrometry

The Institute of Automation and Electrometry, founded in 1957, has 25 scientific laboratories. The focus of the institute is on lasers, and non-linear physics, new information technologies, and task-oriented computer systems. The institute currently employs 500, including three academicians, 25 doctors of science and 100 candidates for doctors of science. Approximately one half of the institute's funding is derived from international contracts. The institute's work includes materials and device development for short wavelength systems, flight simulators, ferroelectric materials for computer memory storage, mathematical modeling, x-ray tomography, and precision gravimeters.

Institute of Thermophysics

For the past quarter century the Institute of Thermophysics has focused its research on drag reduction and laminar flow of submerged bodies. Methods of drag reduction include injection of gas bubbles into the boundary layer and injection of a fast-made polymer solution into both a plate's turbulent boundary layer and turbulent flow formed inside a pipe. Problems of acoustic radiation by turbulent boundary layer and dynamics of interaction between sound and bubble layers have been studied. A significant number of experiments were conducted in a low turbulent air dynamic wind tunnel followed by field experiments in the Black Sea. The development of cavitation flow and hydroacoustics of wakes are also being studied at the institute.

Lavrentyev Institute of Hydrodynamics (LIH)

The LIH was the first institute founded at the Academgorodok near Novosibirsk in 1957. The three goals of the LIH were to develop main research directions, to establish active relations with science and industry, and to train young research fellows for advanced science and engineering. Approximately 500 people are employed at LIH under the direction of Academician Vladimir M. Titov. A scientific staff of 170 includes about 135 Ph.D.s, 43 doctors of science, three academicians, and two corresponding members of the RAS. The institute does fundamental and applied research in the areas of mathematical problems of continuum mechanics and of detonation and explosive processes. The work in applied hydrodynamics includes stratified flow and dynamic flow (turbulence, internal waves, shock, and acoustic wave propagation).

The Detonation and Explosive Processes Laboratory concentrates on applied research in explosive working of materials and high velocity processes (Fig. 1.9). These include explosive hardening, welding compaction, forming of structures from powders, and detonation spraying. Industrial investigations are ongoing with Sweden, Japan, Germany, the United States, and Yugoslavia.

The LIH Applied Hydrodynamics Laboratory efforts include stratified and turbulent flows; wake characteristics; the surface and internal wave generation mechanisms; the effect of waves on submerged bodies; and experimental testing of mathematical models and compilations.

LIH contributions have ranged from the development of innovative solutions to practical problems to pioneering efforts in fundamentals.

[figure 1_9]
Fig. 1.9. Lathe cutting to show successful explosive welding of concentric cylinders of copper and stainless steel
(Lavrentyev Institute of Hydrodynamics, Novosibirsk).
Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ITAM)

The ITAM was founded in 1957. The staff numbers 600 of whom 35 are professors and 180 are candidates of science. Their focus is on mathematical modeling, aerodynamics, and physical gas dynamics.

The institute has the reputation of being the best institute in the countries of the former Soviet Union in fundamental aerodynamics. The institute has eight wind tunnels of varying sizes and capabilities. One hypersonic wind tunnel uses nitrogen as the working fluid and operates at a Reynolds number of about 105, at altitudes of 80 to 90 km at Mach 16 to 24. All of these wind tunnels are computer controlled. ITAM is collaborating with Princeton University in designing a new generation of wind tunnels.

ITAM scientists are active in international conferences and do much of their work through contracts with companies and academic institutions outside Russia. ITAM has two teaching departments: Novosibirsk State University and Novosibirsk State Technical University. The institute's research directions include aerodynamic research; applied aerodynamic research; hydrodynamic research and cold gas dynamic spraying of metals on glass, on other metals, and on ceramics; solid rocket motors; and self-forging projectiles. This institute is very competitive and is moving toward funding economic self-sufficiency.

[figure 1_10]
Fig. 1.10. Large wind tunnel: physics of laminar/turbulent transition
(Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Novosibirsk).
Institute of Computational Technologies

This institute has a staff of 120 people working in 10 laboratories. Their applied work activities have almost stopped. They are now adapting their developed software to other applications.

The major departments of this institute are as follows:

Published: August 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian