Section 4: Ship's and Scientific Equipment Description

ACOUSTIC DOPPLER CURRENT PROFILER (ADCP) - Roger Revelle has a 75kHz and 150kHz RDI Ocean Surveyors installed that are capable of either narrowband, broadband or interleaved operation.  These provide vertical profiles of ocean current speed and direction. The system utilizes the doppler effect to measure currents in the water column. Current profiles can be produced in as many as 128 depth cells, each cell being variable from 1 to 32 meters to a maximum depth of 700 meters. When the bottom is within range, an earth-referenced vessel velocity can be obtained which allows for the measurement of absolute currents. Data are processed and current profiles are displayed in real-time on a color monitor. Data processing and recording are done on a Linux (Ubuntu) system using UHDAS software. The system takes inputs from the ship's motion reference systems and GPSes.  Heading corrections are derived from the ship’s motion reference systems and the Ashtech differential GPS array -- these corrections are applied to the data in real-time.

A-FRAME - The A-frame is located at the stern. It is rated above the breaking strength of 9/16" wire (32,500 lbs) in its braced position, and has a safe working load of 18,000 lbs when in motion (hydraulically driven). It is one of two means (the other is the starboard quarter crane) to lead trawl wire or 0.680" EM wire overboard, and is the only route for fiber optic cable.

AIR, COMPRESSED - (See COMPRESSED AIR in this section.)

AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING - The ship's air conditioning system is extensive and complex, with zone-by-zone and even room-by-room control. If the ventilation or air conditioning in your room or working space seems not to be operating correctly or not to be controlled properly by the pertinent thermostat, please ask the engineer on watch for help. Do not resort to system-defeating measures like blocking vents, etc.

BOATS - A 23-ft Hurricane semi-rigid inflatable boat (SRIB) is normally carried by Roger Revelle as a work boat. Specific requests should be made to the marine superintendent prior to departure of the ship from San Diego to insure that a boat meeting your requirements is available. At sea the crew controls launching, operation and recovery of boats.

BOATSWAIN LOCKER - The primary boatswain's locker for rigging and deck supplies used by the crew is located at the extreme forward end of the main deck. Auxiliary lockers are located at other places on the weather decks. They also contain rigging/securing items, such as cleats and eyebolts, for use with the 2' deck bolt-down pattern. The resident technician or a crew member will assist you in their use if necessary.

BULWARKS - Bulwarks on the main deck aft are capable of being removed in sections, to permit loading and handling of large and/or heavy objects. Requirements for the removal of bulwark sections should be discussed in advance with the marine superintendent or the captain. Bulwarks are personnel safety devices their removal is not treated lightly. They are not normally removed or installed at sea.

CABLE RACEWAYS - Raceways and cable pass-throughs run between labs, from labs to bow, from the labs to the fantail and staging bay, and up to the pilot house and mast. The unistrut network throughout the labs affords additional ways to route and secure scientific cables. As a consequence, it should almost never be necessary to route scientific cables in the overheads, and use of the overheads for this purpose is discouraged. If you do not see immediately how to route your cable outside the overheads where you want it to go, consult any STS technician. Do not disturb existing wiring and remember to remove yours at the end of your cruise.

CAPSTANS - There is normally a large capstan on the fantail. (See MAIN DECK in Section 3.)

CHEMICALS - Use care in storage, handling, and disposal of toxic chemicals, particularly inside laboratories. All chemicals brought on board should be accompanied by a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) provided by the chemical manufacturer. Plastic bottles are safer at sea and should be used unless specific chemicals must be stored in glass. Disposal of chemicals is regulated by University policy and international laws.  Verify with resident technicians before dumping chemicals into ship plumbing. The ship's captain must know what chemicals you are carrying. A chemical storage locker is available and is the only safe way to carry most chemicals aboard ship. Please make arrangements with the resident technicians in advance for proper stowage and for appropriate disposal at the end of your cruise.

Working supplies of hazardous chemicals may be kept beneath fume hoods. Stocks/reserve supplies are to be kept in the appropriate storage.

CLEAN POWER - (See ELECTRICAL SYSTEM in this section.)

COMPUTER SYSTEMS, ACQUISITION, IT, PRINTERS - Shipboard computer systems consists of a cluster of Linux (CentOS) servers with 10 Terabytes of available and expandable storage in RAID6 configuration.  The cluster provides email, intranet, NAS, DHCP, SAMBA, Active Directory, data processing, and data procurement services; using HiSeasNet, shore cellular network (3G, 4G/LTE), and/or FleetBroadBand for Internet.  In addition to the cluster, there's a wide array of data acquisition computers connected to a display array in the electronics/computer lab.  These provide live feedback of the ship's underway data, where it can all be viewed in the electronics/computer lab.  There are repeating displays in the main lab and hydro lab that show MET and navigation data.

The various Windows, Linux, and Mac acquisition machines perform a standard set of data acquisition, archiving and processing functions on many of the permanently installed data collection systems. All data is archived in 15-minute intervals in our redundant CentOS NAS.  All acquisition computers have redundant machines in an event of a system failure.  All systems in the electronics/computer lab are powered through a heavy-duty UPS.  Some of the permanently installed data acquisition systems include (see also separate entries for these items):

  • 75kHz and 150kHz RDI Ocean Surveyors ADCP, running University of Hawaii's UHDAS software.

  • UCSD Ocean Physics Group 50 and 140 kHz High-resolution Hydrographic Doppler Sonar System (HDSS), using OPG's HDSS software.

  • Turo Quoll XBT system, used with Sippican Fast Deep probes

  • Kongsberg EM122 bathymetric mapping system

  • Knudsen Engineering 3260 and 320B/R 3.5 & 12 kHz singlebeam echosounder sub-bottom survey system

  • iXBlue Hydrins, and Phins-III are the main MRU's for our acquisition systems.

  • Trimble SPS351, Furuno GP-150, and Ashtech ADU3 GPSes provide time, position, heading, and attitude information at various frequencies for the science equipment.  Feeds from these instruments feeds can be accessed through the science repeater boxes in the labs, and through the SIS boxes throughout the vessel.

  • Trimble GPS and End Run time servers that provides NTP GPS-derived time, IRG-B and 1 PPS synchronization along with other time measurements

  • MET meteorological system that provides wind speed/direction, relative humidity, barometric pressure, long and shortwave radiation, air temperature, sea surface temperature, and precipitation.

There are three Windows-based terminals for anyone with a ship account to use the Internet, and to access local ship scientific data.  Scanners, copy machines, printers, and a large-format plotter are available to use.  There is Wi-Fi access in the public areas of the ship where anyone can connect to view the ship's intranet, data, and cameras.  Cruise data will be accessible and updated at regular intervals from a central NAS server, from any computer aboard.  Serial feeds (DB9) or UDP feeds of navigation, MET, and MRU data are available in all labs, and can be configured by the Computer Resources technician.

A computer technician from Computing Resources operates and maintains the computer equipment and the standard data acquisition equipment.  He or she will be able to assist in ship account creation, general IT services, science equipment repair, interfacing with the acquisition machine, data downloading, and limited data processing.  At the end of a cruise, he or she will provide the entire cruise data set that was collected all systems to the chief scientist.

Due to the nature of Internet at sea (see also SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS), Internet will be slow.  Everyone has Internet access, but is limited by a quota system.

It is recommended that necessary printer drivers are loaded on all computers being brought aboard ahead of time -- trying to download the large files over the Internet during the cruise will not be possible:

Specialized real-time data acquisition can be arranged by prior arrangement with the Computing Resources Group.

COMPRESSED AIR - Ship's service air is 100 psi at 12 cfm. The upper limit cannot be used continuously. It is suitable for running pneumatic tools, but may not be dry or clean enough for laboratory use. Users should plan to supply their own filters if the air is intended for any lab use. There are numerous outlets in the labs.

High-pressure compressed air (1875 psi) for airgun seismic reflection operations is provided by two Price air compressors in the engine room.

If scuba air is needed a small supply is carried in tanks. For larger amounts, make arrangements before the cruise to carry a special portable compressor for diving air.

CRANES - Permission to operate cranes is strictly limited to authorized personnel. These cranes are operated at sea only by permission of the captain.

Two large No. American MCT-1565 cranes are permanently mounted on the ship, one on the port side 02 level and one on the main deck starboard quarter. These cranes have a dynamic range capability of 10 to 65 ft and a dynamic load capability of 21,000 to 1,700 lbs. These dynamic load conditions are good up to sea state 5. In port, at sea state 0, these cranes can lift 42,000 to 3,400 lbs. with a 10 to 65 ft reach. These cranes can only be operated by qualified crew members or the resident technician.

On the foredeck, starboard side, is a Morgan Marine 18,000 portable deck crane. Crane capacity is 14,000 lbs at 6 ft to 3,000 lbs at 46 ft. Crane winch is rated at 4,000 lbs pulling strength. The crane base is designed to interface with the working deck bolt-down system to provide flexibility. The crane serves the forward scientific storeroom via a hatch that opens in the foredeck. The hatch may not be opened at sea. This crane is operated by the resident technician or qualified crew members only.

A second, identical Morgan crane is available, normally carried on the main deck.

DMG 12000ET2 extension crane is carried stbd side 01 level aft of the rescue boat.  This crane services the stbd side midships.  Boom 2'to 27' capacity 0-2900 lbs.  Operated by ships crew and restech.


CUSTOMS - Shipping equipment to and from foreign ports requires the scientist to deal with two sets of customs officers and rules, theirs and ours. Register your items with U.S. Customs (Form 4455) first. Check with the consulate or embassy of the foreign country next. Document and make lists of everything. List the value of each item. Etch or mark serial numbers on each item. Further information and help about customs matters relating to scientific equipment may be obtained from STS. (D. Long)

Commercial container shipments are made to and from R/V Roger Revelle as needed during the course of an expedition. (See SHIPPING, this section.)

DECK LOADING - In addition to the main deck, equipment may be loaded on the 02 level forward, the 01 level aft on the port side, and (limited) on the foredeck. The approximate loading limit is 0.5 ton/sq ft.

Ship stability is ultimately the responsibility of the captain. The responsibility of scientists is to consult the Nimitz Marine Facility or the resident technician early to describe loading plans and requirements so that any necessary adjustments can be made. The more complex and heavy your equipment the more advance notice is needed. Our goal is to resolve loading problems and incompatibilities well before sailing day, so that it will not be necessary to leave scientific gear on the dock in order to assure a safe ship.

DECK TIE-DOWNS - No welding is permitted directly to any deck. All installations must use the 2 ft x 2 ft grid of tie-downs (welding may be done to “ears” or plates, which in turn are bolted to the deck). Bolt holes are 1" NC thread on weather decks, 1/2" NC thread in labs and storerooms. Bolt holes in equipment should be made oversize, to allow for deck grid irregularities.


DISTILLED WATER - (See FRESH WATER in this section.)

DOPPLER LOG - An Furuno doppler speed log is installed in the chart room for ship speed measurements; its output is available on a repeater in the lab. (Also see ACOUSTIC DOPPLER CURRENT PROFILER in this section.)

DRAINS - (See also CHEMICALS in this section.) Main lab sinks drain directly overboard, or into the sewage holding tanks. Ship's engineers control the drain routing and should be consulted in advance about any dangerous or corrosive chemicals you plan to put into any drains.

The under-sink areas in the lab should (1) be carefully inspected before using the sinks to insure that connections are in fact connected and open, (2) be kept clear of stored items capable of damaging PVC pipes or blocking drains, and (3) be kept clear of lab trash and debris.

ECHOSOUNDING - There is an array of 12 TR-109 transducers which operate at 3.5 kHz, and two 12 kHz transducers which are operated individually.  These can be accessible by portable deck units behind the forward server racks in the electronics/computer lab.  These are normally used by the Knudsen 3260 deck unit (primary), or the 320B/R (backup) for sub-bottom profiling and/or singlebeam depth sounding.  The data is digitized and may be stored in SEG-Y format.  Data is graphically displayed on a the display array and optionally on paper.  

There is also a Kongsberg EM122 12 kHz multibeam for bathymetry data.  The main power and transceiver units are in the dry stores room, two decks down from the main deck.   

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM - The permanently-installed lab power systems include 120, 208, and 240 volt receptacles. 120 volt vital systems utilize the 15 kVA uninterrupted power source. The UPS provides 15 minutes of power at its rated load should a power failure occur. The ship has the following power plant elements:

  • 3 ship service diesel generators (SSDG), 600VAC @ 1,500 kW dedicated for propulsion

  • 3 SSDG, 600VAC @ 700 kW for propulsion or ship service power

  • 2 1,500 kVA transformers 600vac to 480vac

  • 2 150 kW m.g. sets for clean power, providing 90 kVA of 120VAC power to the various labs on the main deck

  • 10 kVA @ 240VAC single phase clean power in labs

  • 9 kVA@ 220VAC single phase clean power in labs

  • 3 100 amp 480VAC deck receptacles, two at the aft end of the staging bay, one at the bow, 01 deck

  • 1 30 amp 480VAC deck receptacle in the staging bay

  • 2 30 amp 480VAC deck receptacles on weather deck aft end of staging bay

  • 4 30 amp 208VAC deck receptacles and 4-30 amp 120vac 3-phase clean power deck receptacles, two of each kind aft of the hydro lab for main deck vans, and aft on the 02 deck for 01-level vans

ELECTRO-OPTICAL TOW CABLES - See the cable specifications.

EMAIL/INTERNET - (See also COMPUTER SYSTEMS, and SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS) Internet access is available to all users, but is limited by a quota system.  All scientists are required to sign up for ship accounts.  This account allows access to the internet, the ship's public terminal Windows PCs, samba-share mount points (for ship's science/underway data, data sharing, and own home directory), and ship email.  The shipboard email account is the same as the username (  This account is temporary for each scientist and crew and will be removed at the conclusion of each project.  Be sure to forward any important email to a personal email address. Use of the ship's SMTP server is recommended for sending out email, in-lieu of your personal SMTPS/IMAP service.  This guarantees that your email will be sent, as our services were designed with the satellite system in mind.  

There are public terminals on Roger Revelle.  Due to the very limited bandwidth of the satellite service, we highly stress that you be mindful of other users in the ship.  Be sensible in browsing content in the internet, and ask the Computing Resources technician if you are required to handle large files over the Internet.  

FLOOD LIGHTS - Working lights on deck are controlled by the bridge. Consider the night vision of the crew and use only the lights you need, turning them off when finished.

Hand lamps, flashlights, etc. can be obtained through the resident technician. Supply is limited; large scientific parties should provide their own units.


FRESH WATER - Fresh water generation capacity is about 4,000 gals/day.  The ship also has 2 evaporation distillers which put out very pure water that can be used to fill carboys. Potable water tank capacity is about 12,000 gals.  A MilliPore Milli-Q Advantage A-10 Water Purification System is installed in the Hydro Lab to provide pure water for lab use..

Fresh water should not be used for wash down purposes, except if necessary and then by consultation with the resident technicians. In personal use, conserve. Take short showers; do only full laundry loads. (See Section 8: SHIP ORGANIZATION.)

GASES - (See STORAGE in this section.) These are the responsibility of the individual requiring gases for shipboard use. Any gas under pressure is dangerous; consult the captain or the resident technician for safe stowage methods and locations.

GASOLINE - Inspected vessels are severely limited by law in the amount of gasoline they can carry, unless they have approved built-in tanks, which R/V Roger Revelle does not. Small amounts of gasoline for outboard motor use at sea are carried in USCG-approved containers. If larger amounts of gasoline are needed, a special "portable" tank can be placed aboard--but it must be requested in advance from the resident technician.


GEOLOGICAL SAMPLING EQUIPMENT - Gravity coring equipment, a box corer, a multicorer, a glass corer, and rock dredges are maintained by the Resident Marine Technician Group. A researcher planning use of any of the above equipment during an expedition should make this need known during the pre-cruise conference or before. The size and weight of geologic sampling gear make it expensive or impossible to ship commercially.

Liners of clear butyrate tubing are used with both gravity and piston corers. This liner deteriorates during long storage. Each researcher should determine his needs. The Resident Marine Technician Group can buy a liner, on a recharge basis, gauge it for size and load it on board before an expedition.

Detailed plans for projected use should be submitted with the longest possible lead time to allow for assured supply of critical items, such as pipe liner for core barrels, and dredging supplies. (See "Sampling Equipment maintained by Resident Marine Technicians" in Section 5.)

GEOPHYSICAL SAMPLING GEAR - (See ECHOSOUNDINGMAGNETOMETER, and MULTIBEAM in this section; plus "Shipboard Geophysical Group" in Section V.)

GYRO - iXBlue Hydrins, and a Phins Gen. III are the two main MRU's used for the various scientific sensors aboard the vessel. The ship's gyro has a repeater in the electronics/computer lab. MRU and gyro data are available in the lab.  

HATCHES - Hatches and watertight doors are heavy and dangerous if not secured correctly. Careful use of all doors and hatches, especially at sea, is very important. Carelessness could easily lead to severe injury. All doors and hatches should be positively latched either open or closed at all times, never left to swing free.

HIGH-RESOLUTION HYDROGRAPHIC DOPPLER SONAR SYSTEM (HDSS) - The High-resolution Hydrographic Doppler Sonar System, developed by UCSD's Ocean Physics Group, have two sets of sonars installed on the R/V Roger Revelle. One set is a 50 kHz unit and the second set is 140 kHz, each consisting of 4 beams. The sonars measure ocean velocities and shears with very high precision.  The data collected by the sonars is usually available post-cruise in a binary format.  A MatLab routine is used to read the binary data and process it into usable scientific data, and displayed on the display array, and on the ship's website.

HOLD - (See description of forward and lower scientific storerooms under LABORATORY SPACES in this section.)

HOODS - There are four fume hoods, one each in the analytical lab, the hydro lab, the main lab and the wet lab.

HYDRAULIC SYSTEM - (See also A-FRAME, CRANES, and HYDROBOOM in this section.) The A-frame and hydroboom are hydraulically operated, as are all cranes. Operating controls for the frame are located on the starboard side of the frame. The hydroboom control is located in the hydro winch control booth.

Questions regarding user applications of excess hydraulic capacity should be directed to Nimitz Marine Facility (the marine superintendent, the port engineer, or the chief engineer of Roger Revelle) well in advance.

HYDROBOOM - The hydroboom located on the 02 level starboard side is a McElroy model 15000. The hydroboom is used for launching and recovering oceanographic equipment and fairleading wire from the DESH-5 hydrographic winch. It is designed for a safe working load of 15,000 lbs perpendicular to the ship's deck. The total length of the hydroboom fully extended is 43 ft. The extension boom is 18 ft long and reaches over the starboard side by 10 ft when fully extended. The distance from the bottom of the sheave, on the end of the boom, to the deck is 20 ft. The hydraulic control for the boom is located in the forward Winch Control Station. This boom is operated by the winch operator.

HYDROWINCH - (See WINCHES in this section.)

INS - (This section still under construction. Contact Woody Sutherland for information.)

INSTRUMENT WELL - (This section still under construction. Contact Woody Sutherland for information.)



LABORATORY SPACES - Please refer to the deck plans for dimensions and layout of the laboratories and other science spaces. Virtually all scientific spaces are on the main deck. The approximate sizes of the labs and other science spaces are as follows. These are the areas that are clear and unencumbered by such uses as passageways through the space, ship equipment, etc. They therefore may not correspond to areas of the spaces shown on general arrangement drawings.

All labs and storerooms are fitted with the standard 2' x 2' 1/2" NC bolt-down pattern on deck, accepting bolts which are 1/2" deep. Unistrut mounting channels are on the bulkheads and overheads. An inventory of Unistrut hardware and fasteners is maintained on board by the resident technician.

In sequence from bow to stern and main deck to 1st platform, these spaces are:

  • Forward science storeroom 358 sq. ft. 
    This storeroom is at the forward end of the main deck passageway. It is served by a hatch that opens on the 01 deck forward. A network of deck tiedowns and Unistrut fixtures permits flexible securing arrangements. Standard pallet-sized loads can be craned into this storeroom through the hatch. All labs served via pallet jack down passageway.

  • Science Office 65 sq. ft. 
    For general office functions as needed by the science party.

  • Darkroom 76 sq. ft. 
    This space contains no installed photographic facilities, but does have a sink and cabinetry. Photographic supplies and equipment are the responsibility of the scientific party.

  • Main Lab 1,745 sq. ft. 
    This is largely flexible general lab space, with extensive utility connections and Unistrut capability, configurable to suit the onboard project(s). It has a fume hood and refrigerator.

  • Analytical/Biochemical Lab 330 sq. ft. 
    This lab has its own air conditioning and ventilation system, for fine control of ambient conditions needed by some analytical work. There is a fume hood and a refrigerator.

  • Science freezer 63 sq. ft. 
    A walk-in freezer for science samples. It can hold a temperature of minus 18 C.

  • Climate control chamber 63 sq. ft. 
    A walk-in chamber; the temperature may be controlled from 4 to 40 C, with sensitivity of 0.1 C and uniformity within the chamber of 0.5 C.

  • Electronics/Computer Lab 610 sq. ft. 
    This is the location of most of the deck electronics and display hardware for quasi-permanent scientific electronics - multibeam, 3.5/12 kHz system, ADCP/HDSS, etc. The primary work site for the Computer Resources Group technician  is here, as are the hubs of the data and video networks and science information system. The lab has a secondary control station for lab control of winches and ship maneuvering.

  • Hydro Lab 693 sq. ft. 
    Has access aft to two vans, plus general lab outfitting. Van access can be fully enclosed if van door arrangements are suitable.

  • Wet Lab 230 sq. ft. 
    With direct access to the staging bay aft, this lab is the site for wet work, wet sample preservation, etc. The lab has a fume hood.

  • Staging bay 330 sq. ft. 
    A sheltered workspace. Clearance from overhead to deck is 18 ft. It has a telephone and outlets for compressed air and electricity. Roll down doors, starboard and aft, offer limited protection against weather. Padeye lifting points in the overhead exist. Overhead hoists are installed; 5,000 lb capacity each.

  • Aft science storeroom 635 sq. ft. 
    This is the other major science storeroom, forward of the winch room on the 1st platform. Some of this space (port side) is used for ship's engineering spares storage. A pallet-sized hatch to the storeroom opens to the main deck just outboard of the starboard rollup door of the staging bay.


MAGNETOMETER - R/V Roger Revelle is equipped with a Marine Magnetics magnetometer. The system consists of the towfish, tow cable, winch, deck lead, deck box, power/data lead-in, and power supply. The main electronics of the system is in the deck box, which is located in the entry area from the fantail to the central passageway, high up on the bulkhead.  The connection to the system is made in either starboard or port side deck-boxes; each of which includes a plug for either the magnetometer or the XBT.  The data stream leaving the deck box is digital (RS-232), and therefore much less susceptible to noise than older systems. Data is logged to the ship's echosounder PC system and aggregated in a NAS, along with most other data streams such as multibeam, MET, GPS/MRU feeds, etc.  The data is displayed in real-time on the display array. The tuning of the magnetometer, as well as the logging of the data, is done automatically when the system is turned on.

MASTS - Roger Revelle has a mainmast, and a jackstaff. The main mast, above the pilot house, carries radar antennas, navigation lights, various antennas, the ship's anemometers, and flag halyards.

A suite of scientific meteorological sensors (see MET in this section) is on the bow of the ship, on a science mast.

MET -  The Shipboard Meteorological Acquisition System (MetAcq) acquires, filters, averages, corrects, displays and distributes meteorological sensor data from a wide variety of sensor types and data input devices.

Meteorological sensors such as ones made by RM Young, Vaisala, Alden, Coastal Environmental Systems, Seabird, FSI, Omega and most sensors that have an RS485, RS422, RS232 digital interface or any analog sensor that can output a voltage, frequency or 4-20ma current can be accommodated.


A typical system measures air temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed/direction, relative humidity, shortwave radiation, longwave radiation, seawater temperature, and seawater conductivity. Sensor information is combined with time and GPS position information and displayed on the local video display or web server and written to data files. The main acquisition device is a Windows-based computer that has at least two serial ports. Data can be acquired simultaneously on all enabled ports. One or more ports can be configured to support RS485 communications through RS232 to RS485 converters. Sensors that have analog outputs are first connected to signal conditioning modules that are physically located near the sensor. These modules then convert the analog signal to RS485 that is then routed to the lab. Collected data is stored on data files at user-selected intervals. This interval is typically once every 30 seconds. Acquired data that has been collected from the sensors (uncalibrated) is stored in an uncorrected data file. Data that has been corrected by applying the most recent pre-cruise calibration data is stored in a corrected data file.


Atmospheric meteorological sensors are generally located on either the forward part of the ship on the MET mast and/or above the ship's upper bridge deck. Sensors that measure seawater properties are generally located near the uncontaminated seawater intake area or in one of the ship's laboratories that has a connection to the uncontaminated seawater line.

At least once a year all sensors are removed from the vessel, refurbished, and calibrated at an appropriate shore based maintenance/calibration facility. Calibration data for each sensor is kept onboard each vessel and entered into the shipboard acquisition/setup file that is used by the acquisition program to correct sensor data for display and storage.



  • Kongsberg EM122 12 kHz, 191-beam, 150 degree swath mapping system

  • Beams map 6-7 times the water depth (25 km swaths in deep water)

  • Turo Devil Expendable Bathythermograph System (XBT) (one probe per day, or as needed)

  • Computing hardware: Two custom twin quad-core AMD processor servers, four 4TB disk drives each, discrete nVidia graphics, 8 GB RAM, Windows 7 Professional

  • Software: Kongsberg SIS acquisition system, University of Hawaii MOSAIC real-time display, and a variety of post-processing software packages including MB-System, GMT, and CARIS (upon request).

PROPULSION - Roger Revelle is equipped with twin "Z" drive propellers aft, trainable 360 degrees. Propeller speed is variable from 0 rpm to full. A White-Gill azimuthing water-pump bow thruster is used for precision maneuvering, dynamic positioning, station-keeping, etc. Thrusters can be controlled independently or integrated through a Kingsberg dynamic positioning/maneuvering system. Dynamic positioning is driven by inputs from GPS or a seafloor acoustic transponder net (Nautronix 916). Roger Revelle is capable of accurate station holding, positioning and track line following in most wind and sea conditions. For fuller details of handling and maneuvering characteristics, consult the captain.

RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL - The use of radioisotopes, or other isotopes in concentrations not found in nature, is strictly controlled aboard Roger Revelle. Permission to use radioisotopes must be obtained from the SIO Ship Scheduling Office in writing, following written application (which is reviewed by the Radioisotope Committee) describing aims of the work and the isotopes, quantities, and procedures to be employed. Such usage must be consistent with strict precautions for safety and to prevent contamination of the ship. All handling of isotopes must be done within a designated portable isolation van. Vans are available upon request to the resident technicians. Cleanup costs of any isotope spills will be charged to the persons responsible.

REFRIGERATION AND FREEZING - (See also "Science Freezer" and "Climate Control Chamber" under LABORATORY SPACES in this section.) There are three lab refrigerators on the ship. The ship's cold food storage is NOT available for scientific use. Portable chest-type freezers are available upon request.

SCIENCE INFORMATION SYSTEM (SIS) - The various labs and other parts of the ship are connected by a scientific closed circuit 9-channel TV system and by fiber optic cables. Both systems originate in the electronics/computer lab. All labs have 10Base-T (UTP, twisted pair) and thin wire (RG-58 coax) connections which are connected to the ship's ethernet network via fiber optics.

SCUBA DIVING - All diving from SIO vessels is controlled by the diving officer. Each diver must have a valid University of California Certified Diver Card or have been approved by the diving officer prior to every diving operation. Please obtain a Diving Form from the SIO Ship Scheduling Office. Your dive plan, submitted on this form, must be received and reviewed for approval well in advance of the voyage.

There is no decompression chamber on R/V Roger Revelle. Arrangements can be made with STS to have a portable scuba air compressor, tanks and weights put on board.

R/V Roger Revelle carries a buddy pair set of scuba gear for emergency work or hull inspection. Researchers should bring their own gear. Not all resident technicians at SIO are divers, but those that are certified are usually eager to dive.

SEAWATER - There are multiple bibs for seawater wash down on the weather decks. Checking with the deck watch officer is appropriate before hooking up and using any hoses. Sea water for incubation purposes is available. For quantity, flow rate, etc., check with the engineer.


SHEAVES & BLOCKS - Use of various winches and wires implies use of certain combinations of sheaves and blocks. In addition, your scientific operation may have particular requirements for fair-leading wires to certain locations. Be sure to check with the resident technician well in advance to explain all your wire rigging ideas and needs. Technicians will know how to best accomplish your task. Never use a sheave that is too small in diameter for the wire.

SHIPPING - Limited stowage on board R/V Roger Revelle often necessitates shipping equipment and samples. Commercial containers are arranged by the Resident Technician Group. Shipments can be made to the ship's agent in ports other than San Diego; contact the Nimitz Marine Facility for the agent's addresses. Agents charge for every service they provide. Please try to consolidate dealings with the agent through either the captain or the resident technician. Agents should be advised by telegram of waybill numbers so they can arrange for transportation, storage and customs. (See also CUSTOMS in this section.)

STORAGE - (See entries under LABORATORY SPACES in this section for forward and lower scientific storerooms, GASES for storage of gas cylinders, and CHEMICALS for storage and use of lab chemicals and hazardous materials.)

SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT - On board R/V Roger Revelle the resident technician maintains a tool box from which the scientific party can borrow tools. Return of all tools is a must. In addition, the resident technicians maintain a stock of office supplies from which scientific parties can draw. Both the tool collection and the office supply stock are modest and limited to commonly used items.

It is not possible to stock everything anyone might conceivably wish to have at sea. Researchers anticipating the use of, for example, an extensive inventory of chemical lab equipment, should consult with the resident technician and plan to supply most of their own needs. Stocking of the ship prior to the beginning of an expedition is done with the expectation of more or less steady use of the items stocked and, it is hoped, in sufficient quantity to forestall the need to re-equip in overseas ports - an unsatisfactory experience in almost every instance.

A list of inventoried supplies is available from the resident technician upon request. Local purchase of extra quantities of particular items can be arranged through him and should be done as far in advance of departure as possible. Supplies purchased will be recharged to the account of the requestor.

The ship does not carry a standard suite of analytical or special-use equipment. The planned use of equipment such as water sampling bottles, reversing thermometers, box corers, bottom trawls, centrifuges or ovens should be indicated on the Ship Time Request Form, and should be checked in consultation with the resident technician well in advance. (See also Section 5.)

UNCONTAMINATED SEAWATER - Uncontaminated seawater is provided via a pump in the bow thruster room at 50 gal/minute, and from a pump from the engine room and or a pump forward near the bow thruster, the pumps are  connected to the hydro lab. Distribution to various labs via plastic piping. Please check with duty engineer for hookups of supply and drainage.

VANS - Roger Revelle can carry multiple laboratory, refrigeration, and storage vans. Two vans can be sited aft of the hydro lab and can have enclosed access to that lab if the van door arrangements are suitable. Two more van sites are on the 01 level, port side. The 02 deck forward of the house has space for 4 full vans. (Decks have special cam-loc fittings in these locations.) Other deck space ia available for vans as necessary.

Plans to use any vans should be indicated on the Ship Time Request Form and details should be discussed with the resident technician well in advance of departure.

WINCHES - The Markey DUTW-9-11 traction winch is located in the winch room on the 1st platform level. Two stowage drums can carry up to 15,000 m of 9/16" wire on one drum and either 10,000 m of 0.680" electromechanical wire or 10,000 m of fiber optic cable. The unit is driven by a 150 hp electro-hydraulic power pack. Wire is led over the side through the A-frame aft or through the trawl crane on the starboard side aft. Fiber optic cable can also be used, led to the stern A-frame. Trawl crane may require use of boom crutch. Check with resident technicians.

The primary Hydo winch is a Markey DESH 5 (75 hp AC-SCR/DC drive). It is located on the 02 level aft of the house, and holds up to 10,000 meters of 0.322" conducting wire or 0.250" mechanical wire. Wires can be led over the side via  the hydroboom  boom.  This winch can be configured for either CTD or hydroboom operations.

The primary CTD winch is a Markey CAST 6 (75 hp AC-SCR/DC drive) integrated with an Allied articulating load-handling system.  The winch holds up to 10,000 meters of 0.322" conducting wire, which can be led overboard using either the Allied load handling boom or the hydroboom.  The winch includes rend-and-recover and heave compensation modes.

A towed magnetometer with winch is normally carried on the fantail.


WIRE - A log is maintained by the chief engineer documenting the actual wire on each winch at any given time. The working end of every wire is occasionally cut off and the termination replaced, and this can sometimes amount to 100 meters or more, if damage has been sustained by the wire.

It is important that expected water depths of planned operations be made known to the resident technicians and the marine superintendent as far in advance of these operations as possible, to ensure that adequate wire is available. Lead times on the purchase of new wires can amount to a year.

XBT - A Turo Quoll XBT system used with Sippican Fast Deep probes is permanently installed. It is available for general use, but stocks of XBT probes beyond the one per day budgeted for calibration of the multibeam system must be user-supplied.