VUME Upper Mantle of the Earth

Ocean Drilling Ships.

Oceanographers had been able to collect sediment and rock samples from the ocean bottom ever since the Challenger Expedition. But they did not have the technology to enable them to probe very far beneath the seafloor.
The scientific research vessel JOIDES Resolution began operations in 1978 as the Sedco/BP 471, originally an oil exploration vessel. In January 1985, after being converted for scientific research, the vessel began working for the Ocean Drilling Program.
A research vessel (RV or R/V) is a ship designed and equipped to carry out research at sea. Research vessels carry out a number of roles. Some of these roles can be combined into a single vessel, others require a dedicated vessel. Due to the demanding nature of the work, research vessels are often constructed around an icebreaker hull, allowing them to operate in polar waters.
Oceanographic research vessels carry out research on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, the atmosphere and climate, and as such, are required to carry equipment for collection of water samples from a range of depths, including the deep seas, as well as equipment for hydrographic sounding of the seabed, along with numerous other environmental sensors. As the requirements of both oceanographic and hydrographic research are very different from those of fisheries research, these boats often fulfil a dual role.

The 120m long Glomar Challenger was a deep sea research and scientific drilling vessel for oceanography and marine geology studies. It was designed by Global Marine Inc. (now Transocean Inc.) specifically for a long term contract with the American National Science Foundation and University of California Scripps Institution of Oceanography and built by Levingston Shipbuilding Company in Orange, Texas. Launched on March 23, 1968, the vessel was owned and operated by the Global Marine Inc. corporation. The Glomar Challenger was given its name as a tribute to the accomplishments of the oceanographic survey vessel HMS Challenger. Glomar is a truncation of Global Marine.
The Chikyu is a scientific drillship which was designed to operate in water depths in excess of 2,500m. It incorporates a range of facilities that enable it to drill up to 7,000m below the sea bed. This makes it one of the world’s deepest drilling vessels. By comparison, the US deep-sea research ship Joides Resolution achieved a hole of 2111m.
Its mission is to drill into the tectonic plates and potentially into the earth's mantle. It is anticipated that research will play an important role in understanding the principles of tectonic movement and earthquake prediction.

Chikyu means 'Earth' in Japanese. It was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japanese Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
The Chikyu was delivered to its owners in 2005, but since then it has been carrying out a range of system integration tests. These were followed by a shakedown cruise, undertaking test drilling off the Shimokita Peninsula to ensure that everything is working satisfactorily before it commences full operations in 2007. It is anticipated that future operations will be carried out off Kenya as well as off Australia.
The list below gives a review of drilling vessel model tests carried out at MARIN :
- DP FPSO (JIP Izar / FMC Sofec / DnV / MARIN, 2003)
- Wave feed forward DP JIP (to 2003)
- Petrobras P-XIII DP model tests (Petrobras, 1999)
- DS4M drilling vessel (R&B Falcon, 1999)
- Ocean Confidence DP model tests (Diamond Offshore, 1998)
- Saipem 10000 drilling vessel (Saipem / Samsung, 1998)
- AESA M.O.T. (AESA / Navion, 1998)
- Stena Tay DP model tests (Keppel-FELS / Stena Drilling, 1997)
- Discoverer Enterprise drilling vessel (Astano / BP Amoco, 1997)
- Deepwater drilling vessel series (Conoco, 1997)
- C.R. Luigs / Jack Ryan drilling vessels (Global Marine Drilling, 1997)