Skip to content

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.

Dive with us

Plan an expedition

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

» Learn more

Use cases

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

» Learn more

First time user?

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

» Learn more

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…

Read the article

Underway: Alvin and Sentry on the Hot2Cold Vents cruise at 9°50’N

December 19, 2019

Continuing work started earlier in 2019, the Sylvan Geomicrobiology Lab from Texas A&M returns to 9°50’N on the East Pacific Rise with Alvin and Sentry to study organisms that live in hydrothermal vent ecosystems and the surrounding seafloor terrain. Follow along on the cruise blog. Read more about the research project.

Read the article

UDaily: Seafloor carbon at the East Pacific Rise vent

December 18, 2019

A University of Delaware study lead by Emily Estes and using samples collected on an Alvin expedition finds direct links between old carbon, graphite, and seafloor hydrothermal vents.

Read the article

The Conversation: explore deep-sea volcanoes with an aquanaut

December 2, 2019

Geologist Michael Perfit has taken about 40 dives in HOV Alvin. Read his account of a day at work underwater published in The Conversation.

Read the article

Gizmodo: Alvin, deep sea vents, and the mystery of ancient carbon

November 20, 2019

Read Gizmodo’s reporting on a paper published this month in Nature Communications that used samples collected on a 2017 Alvin mission to the East Pacific Rise 9° 50′ N vent field in the Pacific Ocean. “What’s great about Alvin is that you can be down there with the vent, get direct samples, and see everything in…

Read the article

A career in submersible operations

October 31, 2019

Get to know Rick Chandler, submersible engineering and operations administrator for the Alvin Group.

Read the article