Ship Conversion 2014-07-22T17:32:29+00:00

The Joides ResolutionIn 2007, the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account provided $115 million dollars in funding to upgrade and convert the JOIDES Resolution (JR), a uniquely outfitted dynamically positioned research ship that has been investigating the Earth’s origin and evolution through scientific ocean drilling worldwide since 1985.

The project, known as the Scientific Ocean Drilling Vessel (SODV), was managed by the United States Implementing Organization (USIO) for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).  The SODV is the U.S. contribution to the IODP.

After an extensive 29-month renovation, the JR returned to operations as the riserless vessel for IODP in February 2009. The new and improved JR enables IODP to continue to expand the boundaries of ocean drilling research by collecting unique subseafloor samples and data that would otherwise remain inaccessible to researchers.


In 1999, the Conference on Multiple Platform Exploration of the Ocean (COMPLEX) produced a report identifying requirements for riserless ocean drilling, sampling, downhole-logging, in situ measurements, and necessary laboratory facility improvements to achieve specific scientific results.

Building on the COMPLEX vision, a Conceptual Design Committee (CDC) formulated design characteristics of a single, riserless drillship configured to address the widest range of drilling objectives. Based on recommendations presented in the CDC Report 2000 (pdf 421 KB), the USIO defined the requirements and enhanced capabilities to be incorporated into the design of the riserless SODV.

Ship Conversion and Capabilities

The enhanced JR provides all new science facilities, new and improved scientific capabilities, improved core handling capabilities, expanded information and technology network and infrastructure, enhanced logging capabilities, and larger and better organized living and working spaces.

To view the JR’s deck layouts and laboratory arrangements, click here.

Watch the slideshow “Modernizing the research vessel JOIDES Resolution”  and the video “JOIDES Resolution transits from Singapore to Guam“.

Table of Contents

  1. All-new science facilities
  2. New science capabilities
  3. Information technology network and infrastructure
  4. Logging
  5. Refined and expanded accommodations
  6. Updated safety & environmental systems
  7. Service life extension
  8. Ship infrastructure 
  9. Communications

1. All-New Science Facilities | Back to Top

  • 27% increase in overall square footage of the science facility spaces
  • 34% increase in laboratory spaces (includes offices and conference space)
  • Redesigned laboratory layout for better core handling and workflow
  • Easier core and freight movement
    • Cores palleted and handling mechanized
    • New larger elevator for off-loading core and more efficient port call work
    • New staging area for removing cores from vessel
    • New core receiving platform which can be refrigerated for hydrates
  • Streamlined accessibility between laboratories and accommodations areas
  • Increased bench space and chemical hoods
  • Direct and safe access to the Microbiology Isotope Lab (container)
  • Enclosed, sound controlled core splitting and sampling room
  • Larger science conference facility capable of supporting the entire science party
  • Improved core flow and integration of science activities on the Core Deck
  • Refrigerated core storage for 8000+ meters

2. New Science Capabilities | Back to Top

  • Laboratory Management System – A new data management infrastructure for improvement to data acquisition management, storage, and quality control
  • New ergonomic core description stations and software
  • New and enhanced science instruments:
    • Two multi-sensor tracks (Magnetic Susceptibility, Gamma Ray Attenuation and Velocity), to improve data acquisition rates and quality
    • Dedicated Natural Gamma track with higher sensitivity and faster acquisition rates
    • High-resolution digital imaging and spectral measurement tracks
    • Upgrade spectroscopy track
    • New Ion Chromatograph, Discrete Analyzer, Rock Eval, systems for the Chemistry lab. Returning equipment refurbished
    • Returning equipment for the Physical Properties, Magnetics, and Microscope labs upgraded and/or refurbished
    • New core splitting saw and thin section equipment
    • New 3.5Khz bathymetric and navigation systems
    • New VSP sound sources logging
  • Refurbished sub-sea camera system
  • Improved core handling capability
    • Cores palleted
    • New larger elevator for offloading core
    • New staging area for removing cores from vessel
    • Eliminatioin of man handling core boxes – pallet truck
    • New core receiving platform which can be refrigerated for hydrates
  • Potential future enhancements to the USIO logging capabilities through infrastructure for use of larger diameter pipe

3. Information Technology Network and Infrastructure | Back to Top

  • New and expanded data servers and storage systems with enhanced large file management
  • Wireless network access throughout labs and quarters
  • New digital media management system (text, images, large binary data files)
  • New workstations and video distribution system
  • Upgraded vessel data management system

4. Logging | Back to Top

  • New wireline heave compensation system near the rigfloor
  • Permanent wireline rig-up reducing operational time and adding flexibility of use
  • Relocation of the Schlumberger wireline and logging while drilling data acquisition units into the corelab
  • Relocation of the logging office and downhole measurements lab into the corelab
  • Modification of the dual elevator system for more efficient handling 6-5/8″ drill pipe used for drilling and deployment of large diameter tools (newer larger diameter logging tools replace many of the existing slim line tools as well as provide some new exciting capabilities)
  • Pipe racker modifications to carry up to 5644 m of 6-5/8″ pipe in the riserless vessel for drilling and logging

5. Refined and Expanded Accommodations | Back to Top

  • Streamlined accessibility between laboratories and accommodations areas
  • New staterooms providing an additional 10 science berths with shared toilets and showers (60 science, 130 total). There are 16 additional berths total.
  • All staterooms will be double occupancy (no more 4 person occupancy)
  • New galley located above the waterline with natural lighting
  • New air-conditioned gym
  • New movie facilities with new entertainment systems
  • New lounge outside movie room for social gathering and casual internet access
  • Improved noise reduction throughout all accommodations

6. Updated Safety & Environmental Systems | Back to Top

  • New hospital facility with disabled access bathroom and digital X-ray machine
  • New Heating Ventilation Air conditioning (HVAC) forward and aft
  • All forward spaces and IODP heavy tool store now air conditioned and heated
  • Elevated bridge integrated with Dynamic Positioning (DP)
  • New 70-man lifeboats and davits
  • New water maker (vapor compression)to handle the additional manning and freshwater sanitary system
  • New potable water tank
  • Renewed Class Certificates – 5 years to next dry dock
  • New gas detection system
  • Better hazardous materials storage – permanent fire protection
  • Infrared camera system for better security
  • New galley hood with fixed firefighting system
  • New marine sanitation device and vacuum toilet system
  • New safety equipment, smoke hoods, SCBAs, survival suits, and lifejackets
  • New FRC (Fast Rescue Craft) / Beacon Recovery Boat
  • Improved exterior vessel lighting in work areas
  • New man rider hoists in the moon pools for safer moon pool operations
  • Improved waste management system – new incinerators with redundancy
    • 2 incinerators – set up to burn trash and waste oil
    • New compactors to reduce volume of trash for easy storage and disposal
  • Zero discharge modification – grey water and black water can now be routed to Drill Water Tank #1

7. Service Life Extension | Back to Top

  • Drill string
  • 5000 psi mud system
  • Spare iron roughneck
  • All DC traction motors for drilling equipment refurbished
  • New Epoch instrumentation system with the future possibility for integrated information into user accessible database for correlations to vessel science
  • Refurbished drilling equipment
    • Piperackers
    • Drawworks
    • Top drives (2)
    • Swivels (2)
    • Crown block/traveling block
    • Dual elevator system
    • Drill line anchor
    • New EZ Torque
    • Iron roughneck
    • Mud pumps
    • Coring winch
    • Rotary table
    • Derrick
    • Passive Heave Compensator
    • Cement pump
    • LP mud system

8. Ship Infrastructure | Back to Top

  • Ship stability will be enhanced with an engineering design that minimizes VCG, reduces downflooding points, utliizes new lighter construction techniques for superstructure and removal of Active Heave Compensator from the derrick, among other improvements
  • New superstructure/labs/quarters
  • Upgraded Vessel Data Management System
  • Removal of derrick A-frame to lower overall height to ease transit through the Panama Canal
  • New Panama Canal-rated anchor windlass
  • Complete overhaul of 12 thrusters
  • All propulsion motors overhauled
  • Synchronous condenser overhauled
  • New seismic deployment boom
  • New expandable Closed Circuit TV system to cover:
    • Drill floor
    • Derrick operations
    • Schlumberger logging operations
    • Moonpool operations
    • Vessel Security
  • Improved Harsh Environment Capability with HVAC changes to address warmer/ cold environments; Fuel Oil Heaters added to allow uninterrupted work in Arctic / Antarctic environments; Install fuel oil coalesers (filters) for additional purification while in cold waters; Install new propulsion coolers to lower propulsion temperatures in warm waters (currently we have to slow down if water gets too hot); and Upgraded crane slip rings for additional heaters for cranes

9. Communications | Back to Top

  • Ship to shore communication – An enhanced VSAT infrastructure for improved ship to shore communication such as video streaming, data file transfer, and shipboard system management from shore
  • GMDSS System with A4 rating
  • New general alarm system
  • New paging system
  • Capability to accomodate 100% up time on VSAT
  • New sound powered phone system
  • New discrete surveillance and alarm system
  • New talkback system