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We put the deep ocean within reach.

Ride Along with Alvin

Follow the NDSF blog as Alvin returns to reserch and puts 6500 meters within reseach of the science community

 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 6500 meters depth and of supporting custom sensors and samplers. The Alvin Team delivers reliability built from more than 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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Alvin Program and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution honored with IEEE Milestone for Technical Innovation and Excellence

October 28, 2022

  Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been recognized by IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization advancing technology, through its Milestone program for the long-running success of its human-occupied submersible Alvin. Read the press release here. 

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CNN: Humans can dive deeper into the world’s oceans than ever before with Alvin

October 15, 2022

  WHOI scientists talk with CNN about what the sub’s latest upgrade means for deep-sea science. Read the whole story. 

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For Deep Ocean Mining, Questions Abound

September 29, 2022

ROV Jason is helping researchers get their arms around the question of what damage seafloor mining might do to little-studied deep-ocean ecosystems. Learn more in this podcast from Undark magazine.

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Solveit for Kids with Rosa Leon Zayas

September 21, 2022

Willamette University environmental microbiologist Rosa León Zayas recounts her deep dive in HOV Alvin during the sub’s recent science verification expedition for the podcast Solveit for Kids.

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The little sub that could: Woods Hole tests the limits of science with ‘Alvin’ submersible

September 9, 2022

Swimmers Matt Skorina and Kaitlyn Beardshear prepare Alvin for recovery after a dive. Skilled divers attach lines that allow for the 40,000-pound vehicle to be winched back up to the research vehicle Atlantis after a day of exploration. (Photo by Marley Parker ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) There is brief discussion about the difficulty of getting…

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A look back at Alvin science verification (video)

September 1, 2022

The human-occupied submersible Alvin is ready to return to scientific research at its newly certified maximum depth of 6500 meters (4 miles). That’s the conclusion of a team of scientists who have spent the past three weeks taking the iconic sub through its paces at locations at the Puerto Rico Trench and Mid-Cayman Rise, testing its scientific…

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