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We put the deep ocean within reach.

Alvin refit to 6500 meters

Learn about the overhaul that will take human occupied vehicle Alvin to greater extremes

 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.

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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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MIT News: Designing exploratory robots that collect data for marine scientists

July 20, 2021

MIT-WHOI joint program student Victoria Preston on planning optimal sampling trajectories for ocean robots and an upcoming cruise working with NDSF vehicles AUV Sentry and ROV Jason. “Overall, I see robots as a tool for scientists. They take knowledge, explore, bring back datasets. Then scientists do the actual hard work of extracting meaningful information to solve…

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Alvin: Pioneer of the Deep

July 9, 2021

A co-production of WHOI and WPBT2/South Florida PBS in Miami, this episode of the award-winning program Changing Seas takes a close-up look at Alvin and the extraordinary places it has taken researchers for more than 50 years. Now, Alvin is poised to continue its revolutionary scientific work with a new set of upgrades that will…

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Exploring Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents at 9°50’N EPR with ROV Jason and AUV Sentry

June 28, 2021

Watch at sea footage from Cruise RR2102 to: 9°50’N EPR with ROV Jason and AUV Sentry. On deck videography by Lauren Dykman, underwater video from NDSF and Dan Fonari/MISO.

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National Geographic UK: He found the Titanic, but for Robert Ballard the search never ends

June 25, 2021

“Ballard doesn’t let setbacks—or anything else really—slow him down. But after 157 expeditions, the man who introduced the public to deepwater exploration is taking stock. This spring he’s publishing a memoir and releasing a documentary, both with National Geographic.” Read the preview story here.

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New Chief Scientist for National Deep Submergence Facility

June 21, 2021

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), a world leader in ocean exploration, discovery and education, has named a new Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence (CSDS) for its National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF). Dr. Anna Michel, an associate scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, will be the first woman to serve in this…

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LA Times: Bob Ballard–the story behind the man who found the Titanic

June 14, 2021

Read a profile about former NDSF Director and WHOI Emeritus Research Scholar Bob Ballard in the LA Times.

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