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We put the deep ocean within reach.

Abyssal Science Webinar underway.

Watch the lectures, review past workshop notes, and join for our last session on July 21. 


 Our Vehicles. Your Tools.

NDSF operates a fleet of underwater vehicles that enables the oceanographic community to explore, sample, and map the deep ocean and to meet the needs of a changing research landscape.


A 3-person research submersible capable of reaching 4500 meters depth and of supporting custom sensors and samplers. The Alvin Team delivers reliability built from nearly 5,000 successful dives.


A time-tested remotely operated vehicle system capable of multi-day missions to 6500 meters. Observers get real-time, HD video and data, as well as physical samples from the seafloor.


A flexible, fully autonomous vehicle rated to 6000 meters that carries a wide and growing array of instruments. The Sentry Team is also skilled at carrying out multi-vehicle missions.

Dive with us

Plan an expedition

From proposal preparation to cruise logistics to data access, we help you execute a successful research mission.

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Use cases

Learn how NDSF vehicles can increase data collection and take better advantage of your time at sea.

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First time user?

Learn how our assets can extend your research to depths you may have never thought possible.

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Gizmodo: “It really is otherworldly”

July 20, 2020

Jason Sylvan from Texas A&M talks about exploring the East Pacific Rise at 9°50’N in HOV Alvin. “I was blown away with just how much different it is actually being there and looking out a window and seeing the site right in front of you,” he told Gizmodo. Watch the video and read the whole…

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Overhaul to take Alvin to greater extremes

July 15, 2020

The final phase of an overhaul that will allow the submarine to dive to 6,500 meters is underway. Read the whole story here.

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Taking the long way home

June 9, 2020

Getting Jason and Sentry back to Woods Hole in the face of cancelled expeditions, closed ports, and tropical cyclones

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Cape Cod and the Islands Magazine: Lessons on Small Space Living from a Submarine Pilot

May 14, 2020

Living in a confined space in response to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders is nothing new for Bruce Strickrott. As a pilot of human-occupied vehicle (HOV) Alvin and manager of the Alvin Group, he has spent years making his life at sea. Read the interview to learn the routines that serve him best.

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Cape Cod Times: Plunging into the final frontier

April 13, 2020

“Now an $8 million upgrade to the submersible powerhouse Alvin will allow WHOI researchers nearly unprecedented access to some of the most inaccessible corners of the world’s deepest waters, helping us once again to remember what it means to be amazed.” Read an opinion piece on the Alvin upgrade in the Cape Cod Times.

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COVID-19 information for NDSF user community

March 31, 2020

Following guidance from UNOLS and our host site Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the National Deep Submergence Facility is monitoring the situation related to COVID-19 closely and taking appropriate actions to keep our team and users safe. We are in the process of bringing all vehicles back to their home port in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.…

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