Developing Science Mission Requirements for a New, Globally-Ranging U.S. Drilling Vessel
The National Science Foundation has asked the U.S. Science Support Program for assistance in developing Science Mission Requirements, or SMRs, for a globally-ranging riserless U.S. drilling vessel to address high priority scientific objectives outlined in the 2050 Science Framework: Exploring Earth by Scientific Ocean Drilling. To provide this input, USSSP has assembled a steering committee to oversee the canvassing of the U.S. community, the prioritization of objectives within the Framework, and the development of engineering, technical, and laboratory recommendations for a globally-ranging, riserless drilling and coring vessel. These recommendations can then be used by NSF should it enter into a Conceptual Design Process for such a vessel.
The SMR effort will begin with an online community survey, which will be accessible from February 1 through March 21. During this period, the steering committee will institute periodic virtual question and answer sessions to allow community members to ask questions about the survey and the general SMR effort. After the survey period closes, responses will be assessed by the steering committee, which will subsequently implement several virtual forums to refine, discuss, and further prioritize the survey results. Finally, an in-person community workshop will be held on May 17-18. The steering committee will then produce a draft report, which will be posted online for review, comments, and suggestions. Only after the community has had the opportunity to comment on the draft report will the final report be submitted to NSF.