The Atlantis Gets a Refresh

  • Client:
    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
  • Completion Date:
    Summer 2021
  • Key Collaborators:
    Dakota Creek Industries
  • Project Type:
    Vessel Design & Modification
  • Service Categories:
    Marine Engineering
    Marine Electrical & Controls Engineering
    Shipyard Production Support
  • Vessel Overview:
    AGOR-23 class research vessel
  • Challenge:
    Midlife refit for research vessel in the US Academic Fleet.


In 2012, the University of Washington awarded Glosten a contract to evaluate midlife refit options for the three AGOR-23 Class research vessels. The Thomas G. Thompson, Atlantis, and Roger Revelle anchor the US Academic Research Fleet, and each was beyond the midpoint of its thirty-year service life. The R/V Atlantis was the last of the three to undergo modification.

Built in 1997 for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and owned by the US Navy, the Atlantis was designed to support HOV Alvin, a human-operated deep-sea submersible, in addition to its other scientific missions. Outfitted with highly sophisticated facilities, including six science labs and a machine shop, the Atlantis has a capacity of 60 scientists and crew and operates globally. The goal of the refit was to extend the life of the vessel for another 25 years so that it could continue providing WHOI with valuable insight into the world’s oceans.

Hull 2

Mission-focused Modifications.

Work on the Atlantis kicked off in 2018, culminating in a complete detail design package after Dakota Creek Industries, Inc. was selected for construction. Glosten ultimately worked for both the owner and the shipyard, soliciting input from vessel stakeholders, staff, and crew throughout the process. The same team was able to move from contract design to detail design, which helped facilitate the design for the shipyard and allowed us to work cooperatively on any technical challenges that arose.

The Atlantis was repowered, and older shipboard equipment and machinery was replaced, including the bow thruster and generators. The vessel was also brought into compliance with current environmental and regulatory standards. As the last of the three AGOR ships to undergo a refit, Glosten was able to apply lessons learned from its sisterships, resulting in excellent value for the owner, an expedited timeline, and a smooth refurbishment process. Sea trials were completed in June of 2021 in Anacortes, Washington, with final delivery in the summer of 2021.

  • IMG_6291
  • Atlantis