ODP Technical Note 10


A. JOIDES Policy for Third-Party Tool Development

Downhole measurements form an integral part of the technology that is routinely used in ODP. In addition to the standard downhole tools that are available on all ODP scientific legs, ODP has historically drawn upon tools developed outside the framework of its primary contractors. These tools are known as "third-party" tools.

Support for the development of third-party tools can come from a variety of sources. In the United States, third-party tool development has generally been supported by the National Science Foundation, using funds earmarked for ODP and allocated to highly ranked, unsolicited proposals. International partners operate a similar procedure.

Tools that are developed with this type of funding are specifically intended for deployment in ODP. However, ODP sometimes wishes to use existing tools that have been developed externally for different purposes. In both cases, it is important that third-party tools are certified as satisfying all the operational and safety criteria that ODP applies to its own in-house tools.

Third-party tools are required to make a transition from the development stage to certification for deployment downhole in ODP, under the management of either the ODP Logging Contractor (for wireline "logging" tools) or the Science Operator (for all others). To facilitate this transition, a set of guidelines has been formulated for the overall process of bringing the third-party tools to the development stage. The aim is to improve communications between ODP and those outside investigators who wish to develop a third-party tool, with the object of preserving ODP's safe, secure, and scientifically beneficial operations.

The following guidelines for third-party tool development were written by the JOIDES Downhole Measurements Panel and approved by the Planning Committee. These guidelines indicate a general progression through which new tools are introduced to ODP operations. More detailed technical specifications are available from the ODP Science Operator and Logging Contractor.

1. Classification of tools
ODP defines three types of third-party tools: development tools, certified tools, and mature tools. A Development Tool is either a tool that is under development externally for use specifically in ODP or a tool that has been developed outside ODP for other purposes and is being considered for ODP deployment. A Certified Tool is a tool that has been developed outside ODP, either for specific ODP application or for other purposes, and is now deemed to satisfy all the criteria for scientific deployment in ODP. Where there is likely to be a long-term requirement for the data provided by a Certified Tool, it may be a candidate to become an ODP Mature Tool. A Mature Tool is an established tool that has become part of the range of ODP tools operated routinely by the Science Operator or the Logging Contractor. Such a tool will effectively be owned by ODP and will no longer be a third-party tool.

2. Development tools
For a tool to be considered an ODP Development Tool, several criteria must be satisfied.

3. Certified tools
For a tool to be considered an ODP Certified Tool, the following criteria must be met. 4. Mature tools
For a tool to be considered an ODP Mature Tool, the following criteria must be met. 5. Protocol for development
Prospective proponents of third-party tools are requested to contact the ODP Logging Contractor (for wireline tools) or the ODP Science Operator (for all other downhole tools) at the earliest possible stage of their projects. Proponents will receive a detailed, current list of specifications with which third-party tools must comply. Proponents will also be further informed of the protocol governing the development and deployment of ODP third-party tools.

To Third-party and Developmental Tools, Section B.
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