Modular Workspace Systems

Ext_3Exterior-LabsConfiguring chartered offshore service vessels and ice-breaking vessels as MARVs and PolarMARVs centers on integration of modular workspace systems; project-configured laboratories, workshops, data processing labs, and office workspace. Standard on-deck modular systems also include 20’ power generation modules for supplying ship-independent power supply to the science deck for labs, cranes and winches (a standard design spec for all MARVs); and storage systems.

Global Oceans has partnered with world-wide suppliers and manufacturers of offshore workstations and laboratories, and has access to several hundred systems from a global pool, staged in multiple hubs in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

All modular labs are pre-wired for computing, pre-plumbed for water and waste management, and pre-configured for fume hood installation. Clean power feeds and redundant internal environmental control are standard. All systems are globally certified by ABS, USCG, DNV, IMO, SOLAS and LLOYDS. Modular systems are attached to the deck with a combination of mechanical locks and welding to the vessel sub-deck to meet ABS specifications and engineering design approvals for each project. Modules are manufactured and ABS-certified for 2-up stacking, and can be coupled in combinations of 2- to 8-module clusters, with multiple clusters on deck depending on project needs and vessel size.

These systems are purpose-built for human habitation, but designed with a standard container-dimension footprint for economical individual shipment by cargo carrier. With availability from four international hubs, Global Oceans can ship, deliver and install workspace systems on regionally-mobilized MARV vessels anywhere in the world within a few weeks.

Modular Laboratories 

Labs2Modular labs can be configured to support most research needs – from wet labs for live sample work, to chemical analytics, to data processing and GIS labs, and clean labs for trace metal analysis. Illustration panels in this section show examples of lab interior and exterior configuration.

For all configuration scenarios Global Oceans will provide lab consumables, reagents, gasses, spare parts and other equipment as specified by each research team.


Global Oceans is working with major analytical instrument manufacturers and suppliers to provide analytical instrumentation on board MARV expeditions that can be individually specified and installed for the duration of each research cruise. Shipment to the expedition project management office and installation within the lab is coordinated by Global Oceans. Calibration, testing, spare parts, provision of consumable materials for assays, as well as training and technical support as needed, can be provided for all instrument systems. Instrumentation systems include:

  • Lab_Inst2Gas Chromatography and GC/Mass Spec.
  • Liquid Chromatography and LC/Mass Spec.
  • Molecular spectroscopy.
  • ICP Mass Spec.
  • Flow cytometry and liquid scintillation.
  • TOC analyzers.
  • LN2 storage on-board (bulk and portable containment).
  • Genomics (sequencing, barcoding, separation & storage for on-shore analysis, RAD-Seq methods, tissue sample prep & storage).
  • Microscopes & visual documentation.

Modular Workshops & Vehicle Bays

WorkshopsProject-adaptive, rapidly mobilized and technologically advanced workshop modules are a critical component of MARV vessel design and capacity, enabling efficient on-board management of major scientific equipment and vehicles such as ROVs and AUVs. The Illustration panel in this section shows examples of workshops and vehicle bays, all stocked at multiple global hubs.  

On-deck workshops in multiple sizes can be specified and installed to support equipment and vehicle mobilization, deployment, repair, maintenance and storage. Hundreds of modules in a range of configurations are readily available: from modules with 2-ton capacity hoist systems, to smaller 10′ modules with racks for secure tool storage. Installed ATEX floodlights enable external operation, and HVAC is installed as needed.

Standard systems will be provided to support project needs, and additional specialized configurations can be requested by each science team. Engineering and design support is provided for every workshop module to ensure that power, space, deck placement, and deployment capacity is sufficient and safe.

Workshops are globally certified in compliance with IECEx, CE, CSC, DNV 2.7-1, EN 12079 and ATEX requirements.


Header illustration above shows scanning electron microscopy (SEM) photographs of coccolithophorids. Adapted from: Riebesell, Ulf, et al. “Reduced calcification of marine plankton in response to increased atmospheric CO2.” Nature 407.6802 (2000): 364-367.