We put the deep ocean within reach.

 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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Submersibles Take Scientists to Deep Sea Volcanic Sites

August 1, 2019

Dr. Rebecca Carey from the University of Tasmania describes what she saw when 1000m beneath the surface at the Lōihi Seamount in Hawaii in this audio program on Australia’s ABC RN.

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HOV Alvin Featured on NSF Science 360

July 26, 2019

Take a look at HOV Alvin. Owned by the U.S. Navy, operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF),  Alvin is the world’s preeminent deep-diving submersible. With submersibles like Alvin, NSF will continue to discover and understand the secrets of the deep!

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AUV Sentry Featured on NSF Science 360

July 24, 2019

Take a peek at Sentry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s state-of-the-art autonomous underwater vehicle. Supported by the National Science Foundation, it’s capable of exploring the ocean and seafloor to depths of 19,000 feet while untethered.

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ROV Jason Featured on NSF Science 360

June 25, 2019

Learn about Jason‘s capabilities and work in support of ocean science research in this short video brought to you by the National Science Foundation.

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Scientists Head to Sea to Explore Subseafloor Life

May 27, 2019

Earth’s largest aquifer flows beneath the seafloor, through the rocky upper layer of ocean crust. Together with the sediment that rains down from the ocean above, this vast system is called the marine deep biosphere. It covers the entire seafloor – 70 percent of the planet’s surface. This extreme environment is home to unusual, slow-growing…

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Scientists Just Discovered A Bizarre Deep-Sea Tubeworm Off The Atlantic Coast

May 9, 2019

Scientists using the remotely operated vehicle Jason got a welcome surprise last month when they discovered deep-sea-dwelling tubeworms while exploring off the east coast of the United States. It is the first time this type of worm has been seen in the eastern North Atlantic. Read the full story ->

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