Research expeditions

At any one time NOC scientists and technicians can be at sea on numerous vessels. Discover where they are and what they are trying to achieve.

Latest expedition

RRS James Cook

Cruise Principal Scientist Location Duration in days (begins) Aim
JC107 Aitken Hunter



August 2014



This period has been scheduled to renew the Kongsberg Sonar Array, in addition to focusing on the Starboard frame for the metal free CTD, scientific winch upgrade level winds, overhaul of main engines and the renewal of underwater paint coatings. 

RRS Discovery

Cruise Principal Scientist Location Duration in days (begins) Aim

Aitkin Hunter 



September 2014


Discovery is undertaking annual renewals of all statutory certification during the repair period in Hull.  

Work also being undertaken includes the following:

  • repairs to soft shell plate damage on the stbd side which has caused the bulkhead to trip between cabin 268 and the winch room;
  • fuel monitoring equipment is being fitted to all four main generators that will provide an accurate account of fuel used over any given period;
  • fuel bunker meters are also being fitted to accurately measure fuel delivered to the vessel; 
  • an additional air cooling unit is also being fitted in the main switchboard to assist in cooling the static frequency converters; 
  • both aft knuckle cranes and the gangway crane are having the hydraulic cylinders changed to those of a higher specification;
  • the deck head in the thruster room and hydraulic pump space is being insulated, to reduce heat soak from the main working deck;
  • additional cabling is being pulled in to enable better CCTV cameras and additional monitors for observing the scientific winch system;
  • Classification Society hull and machinery items are being surveyed as part of the vessels ongoing maintenance program;
  • RR-Odim and Wartsila are attending to investigate guarantee defect items, registered before the end of the vessels guarantee period.

Trials are being conducted en-route to the repair yard for the implementation of a power limiting operating mode.


Ship position

This map shows the positions of the NOC operated vessels RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook.  While every effort is made to keep this map up to date sometimes postion updates are not possible.

Update from the ship (PIM)


DTG: 190914 1200

Zone: UTC+1

Posn: PST, MMS Repair berth, Alexandra Dock, Hull

Status: refit as per spec


Fuel ROB: 149t



DTG:  190914 0800

Zone:  UTC+2

Posn:  SST Astander Repair Berth, Santander


Status: Refit works continuing,  load testing of lifeboats to be conducted today.

Remainder of Bunker Stem to be taken this evening.

Sailing scheduled for 1400/Sunday subject to confirmation this afternoon depending on remaining refit scope.

Other expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2014. Read more about 2014's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2013. Read more about 2013's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that took place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2012. Read more about 2012's expeditions

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The outputs of research generate new knowledge about the oceans. Transferring scientific knowledge to support business and industry is an important part of our NOC remit.



Our research is intended to tackle the big environmental issues facing the world. Research priorities will include the oceans' role in climate change, sea level change and the future of the Arctic Ocean.



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