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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.

HOV ALVIN

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.

ROV JASON

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.

AUV SENTRY

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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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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Cape Cod Times: WHOI’s Alvin to reach new depths after $8M upgrade

March 30, 2020

Read an interview about the Alvin of the future with submersible pilot and manager of the Alvin Group Bruce Strickrott.

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Welcome home, Alvin!

March 24, 2020

Watch Alvin return to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for the final phase of the overhaul that will allow it to reach 6500 meters depth. Building on work begun in 2011, this process is part of the sub’s regular maintenance cycle, in which Alvin returns to Woods Hole and the team disassembles it, inspects every part,…

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First Descent: Lauren Dykman Dives in Alvin

March 10, 2020

“In an instant, the abyss below resolves into a field of contorted basaltic lava flows. Black, shiny lava pillows extend to the reach of our floodlights, much like photos I’ve seen of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. We touch down and raise a cloud of sediment. Surrounding us, going about their daily lives, are the animals…

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Mashable: Watch an earthquake startle a swam of deep-sea shrimp

February 26, 2020

A video captured by ROV Jason earlier this month shows the reaction of deep-sea shrimp when a 4.7 earthquake struck 100 miles away. Watch the video footage at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and read the Mashable story.

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Vineyard Current: Andy Bowen on the past and future of deep sea exploration

February 4, 2020

Listen as NDSF Director Andy Bowen reflects on deep sea exploration and the challenges of building the robots of the future on an episode of The Vineyard Current, produced by MVYRadio. The interview aired to preview a talk Bowen will give at Falmouth Academy’s Community Forum on February 6 at 7pm. Bowen will share the…

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