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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San Diego Open House!

December 23, 2018

On December 23rd, #NSF_funded Early Career Scientist Training cruise crossed finish line at The R/V Atlantis, #NDSF_WHOI #HOVAlvin, and #AUVSentry San Diego open house event. A moment of “joie de vivre” in oceanography community: Dr. Ross Parnell-Turner (right), an Early Career Chief Scientist in training from the AT 42-06 cruise and a recently appointed professor…

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Successful live broadcast to AGU from HOV Alvin/AUV Sentry cruise on R/V Atlantis

December 23, 2018

On December 11th, 12th, and 13th, we have successfully convened live broadcast to AGU exhibition booth from HOV Alvin/AUV Sentry cruise (AT 42-06). This event was a part of #NSF_funded NSF/UNOLS/AGU Early Career Scientist Training. Thanks to American Geophysical Union for supporting the pre-cruise webinar series and the live broadcast!! NSF/UNOLS/AGU EARLY CAREER SCIENTIST TRAINING…

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Early Career Scientist’s post: “Going Viral”

December 8, 2018

“Viruses are messing around with the genomes of their hosts in just about any environment on Earth, but I’m interested in deep-sea hydrothermal vents because I think viruses have been playing this game for billions of years….. […] …. If we can understand how evolution operates in these places, we might better understand how microbes…

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12/11-12/13: Live two-way broadcasts from the HOV Alvin/AUV Sentry cruise!!

December 6, 2018

National Science Foundation/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/American Geophysical Union joint press-release: “Scientists and engineers on a deep-sea expedition aboard the research vessel Atlantis in the East Pacific Ocean will be broadcasting live to the American Geophysical Union fall meeting exhibit booth from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 11, Wednesday, Dec. 12, and Thursday,…

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It begins – Early Career Scientists with HOV Alvin and AUV Sentry

December 5, 2018

The AT42-06 expedition has begun. They will head first to a chain of seamounts south of Manzanillo and west of the East Pacific Rise at 8°20’ N to complete the 2016 OASIS expedition with four Alvin and three Sentry dives. After that, they steam 100 miles north to the East Pacific Rise at 9°50’ N…

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HOV Alvin continues making deep seafloor direct observations within our reach

December 4, 2018

Since the #HOVAlvin marked the 5000th dive milestone, there has been the extensive media coverage celebrating this remarkable achievement. Read more at various news sites! EurekAlter!-AAAS Sea-Technology.com maritime-executive.com  Subsea World News Ocean News & Technology Clipper Oil Marine Fuels CapeCod.com Falmouth Enterprise.com Now, with this great tailwind, the R/V Atlantis AT42-06 cruise has set sail…

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