RRS James Clark Ross

Arctic

Position
Lat. 0°0'0"N, Long. 0°0'0"E
Occupied from
1 December 1990 to present

RRS James Clark Ross (JCR), launched by HM the Queen in 1990, is primarily a marine research vessel for biological, oceanographic and geophysical cruises. It is equipped with a suite of laboratories and winch systems that allows scientific equipment to be deployed astern or amidships. The ship has an extremely low noise signature, allowing the deployment of sensitive acoustic equipment. A swath bathymetry system was fitted in 2000. The JCR also carries out some cargo and logistical work. During the northern summer the JCR supports NERC research, largely in the Arctic.

RRS James Clark Ross (named after Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, R.N.) was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders, Wallsend, UK. The vessel can steam at a steady two knots through level sea ice one metre thick. To assist passage through heavy pack ice a compressed air system rolls the ship from side to side freeing the passage.

RRS James Clark Ross in Ryder Bay
RRS James Clark Ross in Ryder Bay

Useful documents

Purpose

RRS James Clark Ross contains some of Britain's most advanced facilities for oceanographic research. The ship is equipped for geophysical studies, with a compressor bank to power a seismic air gun array, and large aft and starboard decks for scientific equipment deployed by aft and midships gantries. For biological studies, the vessel can deploy a wide range of sampling gear and benefits from modern underway instrumentation. The ship is designed with an extremely low noise signature to allow sensitive underwater acoustic equipment to operate effectively.

Sea and hear what it's like to study sea ice from RRS James Clark Ross

Useful documents

Technical data and scientific specification

Some scientific equipment may be installed on board for the duration of a particular scientific cruise and removed at the end. This equipment is not listed here.

General

  • Port of Registry: Stanley, Falkland Islands
  • Call Sign: ZDLP
  • INMARSAT-B: 374033924 (Fax)
  • MMSI No: 740339000
  • Class: Lloyds +100A1 Ice Class IAS +LMS UMS (DP-AM pending)
  • Length overall: 99.04 metres
  • Breadth: 18.85 metres
  • Full load draft: 6.40 metres
  • Freeboard: 3.308 metres
  • Endurance: 12 knots cruising speed: 57 days
  • Propulsion: Diesel Electric, single fixed propeller, 8500 SHP
  • Bow thruster: White Gill 360° Controllable, 10 tonnes thrust
  • Stern thruster: White Gill 360° Controllable, 4 tonnes thrust
  • Stabilisation: Intering Active/Passive, incorporating ice heeling and overside load compensation
  • Manning: Officers 12 (+1 on science cruises); Ratings 15; Doctor 1

Scientific/expedition accommodation

  • 15 single berth (with Pullman berth) (14 available on science cruises)
  • Four x four-berth
  • Chief Scientist's suite (two single berths available)
  • Maximum science complement: 31 berths

Ship's navigation outfit

Sperry Marine Integrated Bridge System, incorporating:
  • Sperry Mk37 Mod E Dual Gyro Compasses
  • Sperry Autopilot Model ADG
  • Sperry Nav System incorporating Decca Navigator
  • LORAN 'C'

Electronic Positioning

  • Leica MX 400 DGPS
  • Ashtech G12 DGPS
  • Furuno Loran C (Note: differential correction data via Racal Skyfix

Compasses

  • Standard magnetic Cook NSK1977 electric repeater

Electronic charting and plotting

  • Sea Information System Microplot 6 Version Survey MR
  • ARCS chart display
  • World grid (Fleming Sinusoidal
  • UTM projections
  • Myriad
  • Sperry Chart Digitiser 'E' size, interfaced with navigation system

Radars

  • GMDSS-SAIT

Echo sounders

  • Marconi Marine Seachart 3 Navigational Sounder
  • Marconi Marine Seachart 3 Manoeuvering Sounder (Stern Transducer)
  • Simrad EA500 Hydrographic Sounder
  • Furuno CSH50 Directional Sounder
  • Simrad EK500 200 Hz Transducer

Logs

  • Sperry SRD 421S Dual Axis Doppler Log
  • Chernikeef Aquaprobe Mk 5 EM Log

Other

  • Space Technology MSGS-30 Satellite Picture Receiver, with printer

Working deck areas

  • After Deck 20 metres long, full deck width (370 m²)
  • Starboard: 5 metres wide to midship (150 m²)
  • Forward: Starboard side main deck (130 m&'178;)
  • All working deck areas covered by matrix of 1-tonne capacity bolt-down points at 1 metre centres (0.5 metres in some areas)
  • Facilities for five laboratory containers (ISO 20 ft, 4 aft, 1 fwd)

Cranage

Forward

  • Main cargo crane 20 tonne x 20 metres
  • Stores crane 2.5 tonne x 10 metres
  • Science crane 2 tonne x 4 metres, fitted winch and slip rings

Aft

  • 10 tonne x 17 metres, 3 tonne x 22 metres
  • 2 x 2.5 tonne capacity science cranes (with winches), pt 13 m, stb 10 m

Gantries

Aft

  • Articulated 'A' frame SWL 20 T (static) (7.5 T SWL ArtArm.)
  • 2x2 tonne handling winches on gantry frame

Midships

  • Articulated 'A' frame SWL 30 T (static)
  • 2x2 tonne handling winches adjacent

Winch systems

Main traction winch 30 T SWL (serving aft and midship gantries)

  • Storage Drums - Superaramid Deep Coring Warp - 8,000 metres
  • Standard Coring Warp - 8,000 m
  • Tapered Trawl Warp - 15,000 m
  • Conducting Cable - 10,000 m

CTD/hydrographic traction winch 10 T SWL

  • Storage Drums - Hydrographic Wire - 9000 metres
  • Conducting Cable - 8000 m
  • Spare Drum
  • (Inboard and outboard motion compensator systems are fitted to both winches)
  • Biological Drum Winch: 3000 m 5 T SWL

Twin warp trawling system

  • 3000 metres x 2 x 35.8 T
  • (A net drum winch is available for mounting on the main deck)
  • Gilson Winches: 2 x 5 T

Laboratories

  • Wet Laboratory (23.5 m²)
  • Main Laboratory (44.2 m²)
  • Rough Workshop (25.9 m²)
  • Scientific Workshop (19.6 m²)
  • Waterbottle Annex (18.1 m²
  • Chemistry Laboratory (18.1 m²)
  • Preparation Laboratory: (16.3 m²)
  • Biochemistry Laboratory (10.6 m²)
  • Microbiology/Radioactive Laboratory (10.7 m²)

Computer/electronic/control spaces

  • Underway instrumentation and control room (66.8 m²) (incorporating winch control room)
  • Electronics workshop (7.2 m²)
  • Data preparation room (16.5 m²)
  • Computer room (19.2 m²)
  • Paper and magnetic tape ready-use store (4.6 m²)
  • Darkroom (7.4 m²)

Other scientific spaces

  • Gravity meter room (5.2 m²)
  • Cool specimen room (13 m²)
  • Scientific freezer (12.4 m²)
  • -80°C scientific chest freezers x2
  • Scientific hold (118 m²)
  • Explosives magazine (15 T)
  • Hazardous chemicals lockers (main deck)
  • Storm clothing annex

Scientific data acquisition

Local Area Network system with back-up is installed for cruise instrumentation and equipment. Instrumentation continuously logged on the central computing systems. Facilities are available for data transmission via satellite to and from the ship.

Echo sounders and logs

  • Simrad EA 500 navigational sounders
  • Simrad EK 500, 38 kHz, 200 kHz and 120 kHz transducers
  • Sub-bottom profiler, 3.5 kHz
  • Precision echo sounder, 10 kHz
  • Furuno CSH50 directional sounder
  • Acoustic doppler current profiler (RDI type RD-VDM150)
  • Pitch, roll, heave monitor/compensator
  • Dual-axis doppler log (Sperry SRD 421 S)
  • Electro-mechanical log (Chernikeef Aquaprobe Mk5)

Navigation and oceanography

  • Ship's navigation system repeated in UIC Room
  • Trimble 4000 surveyor DGPS (Racal Skyfix)
  • PC-based Oceanlogger
  • Ashtec GPS3DF - linked to ADCP
  • Dynamic positioning system: Simrad Kongsberg SDPI 1

Scientific services

Seismic air compressors

  • Hamworthy 4TH565W100 x 4 - capacity 555m³/hr at 136 bar

Non-contaminated sea water system

  • Retractable sampling probe 7.2/14 m³/hr

Distilled/UHP water system

  • Elgastat polishing unit (ultra high purity) in chemistry laboratory

Hydraulic power supplies

  • Three pump system providing flow rates of 26, 52 and 78 ltrs/min at 200 bar to three deck manifolds (port/stb aft and midships)
  • Fwd deck manifold 50 ltrs at 200 bar
  • Hansen (female required) connections 1.25/1" BSP
  • Separate supplies for 'Gloria, MCS and Net Drum Winch'

Electrical power aupplies

  • There are two standards of supply - general purpose which may at times have high harmonic content due to the thyristor-controlled propulsion system and clean which is provided by dedicated generators and is suitable for sensitive electronic equipment
  • 415 v AC x 500 amo (scientific rough workshop) serving aft deck
  • 415 v 50 Hz 3 Ph general-purpose supply with eight outlets (main deck)
  • 240 v 50 Hz 3 Ph general-purpose supply (PES pt and stb)
  • 240 v 50 Hz 1 Ph general-purpose supply with five outlets (various)
  • 110 v 50 Hz 1 Ph general-purpose supply to all working areas
  • 240 v 50 Hz 1 Ph clean supply to most areas - i.e. labs, cabins, workshops etc.
  • 110 v 60 Hz 1 Ph clean supply to limited areas - 10 outlets

Container laboratories

Facilities and services for four containers on aft deck and one container on the fwd deck.
RRS James Clark Ross computer operations room

RRS James Clark Ross computing facilities

Hardware for general use 4 x general-purpose PC workstations with dual core processors, minimum 1Gb RAM, 40Gb Hard drive, Windows XP Professional, 19″ flat screen, DVD writer PSO’s cabin: Dual-core PC …

scientific mooring winch

The RRS James Clark Ross has a purpose build scientific mooring winch, which is capable of deploying mooring of up to 4000m length of 14mm rope diameter. The winch has a …

Underwater camera systems

Shallow UW Camera System can work to depth up to 500m, showing a black and white live low resolution video stream and can take colour high resolution stills. The system consists …

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