RRS James Clark Ross computing facilities

Hardware for general use

  • 4 x public use PC workstations with minimum i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 19″ screen
  • Principle Scientist cabin: i5 PC with 24″ screen

Local area network (LAN)

  • 10Mb throughout the ship over Cat5e with standard RJ45 LAN access ports.
  • If providing your own PC/laptop (both work and personal), network cables are available on board. The Radio Officer will assist you in connecting your PC/laptop to the LAN providing you have a sufficiently secure machine with the correct hardware and software (anti-virus is required for all operating systems including MacOS). If you are unsure, it is better to contact the IT ServiceDesk at BAS Cambridge before departure for more information. (Contact the BAS IT ServiceDesk on +44 (0)1223 221447 or send an email to servicedesk@bas.ac.uk)

Wide area network (WAN)

  • The satellite link totals 1.6Mbps (i.e. probably 40 times slower than your broadband link at home). This has to cope with the traffic for everyone on board, including telephone calls, data transfer, remote access, web browsing and email. Many people bring web ‘toys’ onboard only to find they do not work.
  • As a general rule, internet activities involving text work well (IE WhatsApp), those involving images are very slow and ones based on video are unusable.
  • Please turn off cloud file syncing applications such as Dropbox and OneDrive.


  • A0 colour inkjet plotter (limited use)
  • A4/A3 colour laser printer with duplex unit
  • A4 black and white laser printer with duplex unit
  • A4/A3 colour scanner

There is enough plain paper and toner for average use of the printers/plotters. If you consider that you may need more than average or a particular paper/transparency stock, then this must be arranged during the cruise planning meetings.

Unix-based facilities

  • General use linux = CentOS
  • Packages available: mb, rvs, scs, pstar, ddd, emacs, ffmpeg, gmt, gsd, meld

Contact servicedesk@bas.ac.uk for further details.

Underway logging system (SCS)

Current devices being logged:

  • Furuno GP32 GPS system
  • Seatex Seapath 320+ GPS system
  • Simrad EA600 bathymetric echo sounder
  • Ships ultrasonic anemometer
  • Ships Chernikeef electromagnetic speed log
  • Ocean logger (BAS-designed environmental data logger)
  • Ships Sperry Doppler speed log
  • Ships acoustic Doppler current profiler
  • Winch system (CLAM)
  • Konsberg em122 centre beam depth

Additional devices can be logged to the central system via an RS232 NMEA data stream (max. resolution 1 second). Please mention requirements during the cruise planning meetings.


  • The standard operating system for workstations is Windows 10 Enterprise 64bit
  • Software packages available from the server to corporate PCs include:
    • Anaconda Python
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Office 2016 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Project, Visio)
    • ArcGIS
    • X2go
    • Firefox, Chrome and Edge
    • Corel Graphics Suite
    • 7zip
    • Minitab
    • Sigmaplot
    • VLC
    • Sophos Anti-Virus
  • All software installed on BAS PCs must be licensed and work-related. Other software found on the PCs will be removed.


  • You must supply your own backup media. This includes portable hard drives or memory sticks
  • There is a limited supply of A4 paper for printing purposes.
  • LAN cables will be provided, but LAN-to-USB adapters will not.


  • The Central File Servers are backed up daily to LTO tape. All files that you place in your network personal space will be backed up.
  • The Linux systems are backed up daily to LTO tape.
  • No backups are taken of the PCs’ local hard drives. You are responsible for backing up any files that you place on the PC local drives.
  • At the end of a cruise, all science data will be returned to Cambridge and kept forever.

Windows Server account

  • Most people tend to make use of the legwork storage and their personal devices. If required you can request an Active Directory account and 10Gb of backed up network disk storage for your personal/work use.
  • The account and all files will be deleted upon leaving the ship.
  • A Linux account can also be arranged upon request.


  • You can access email using one of the public internet connected PCs to access web-based email. Alternatively you can access email on your own device as long as it is connected to the network using a cable. Wifi connected devices can communicate with local ship resources (underway data) only.
  • The maximum size for any work-related or personal email is currently 10Mb, but please try to keep all emails/images much smaller. A standard text only-email is about 5Kb.

Telephones: personal use

  • Personal calls to UK numbers are allowed from the ship.

Personal computers

You may bring your own device with you to the ship and connect it to the network, but please note:

  • All operating systems must have functioning and recently updated anti-virus software
  • Windows must be updated with the latest security patches
  • All laptop users should bring with them all driver and recovery disks related to their equipment.
  • Mac users can expect to be able to access some shared network drives and printing, but IT support is on a best endeavours basis
  • Make sure software licenses work when disconnected from the network.
  • Make sure cloud services work when disconnected from the internet.
  • You must make your laptop available for inspection by the Radio Officer, or a member of the IT section, before connecting it, to verify that these pre-requisites are met.


If you are bringing your own laptop on board it must have up to date anti-virus software on it. For personal use, we recommend Windows Defender which is free or ESET Smart Security