NOAA Ship Malcolm Baldrige was designed and constructed to conduct oceanographic research. The ship performed a wide variety of physical, chemical, biological, geophysical, meteorological, and other marine environmental sensing and sampling operations. Malcolm Baldrige was assigned to conduct oceanographic operations as a scientific platform.
Malcolm Baldrige was the first ship to be outfitted with an upgraded oceanographic system. This system is referred to as the Scientific Computer System (SCS). The SCS consists of two MicroVAX computer systems that are networked to provide for both data acquisition and data processing functions. One MicroVAX system is dedicated to acquire, log, and display data in real time and performs real-time data quality assurance functions. The second MicroVAX is dedicated to shipboard scientists for data analysis and direction of their research.