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We put the deep ocean within reach.

Alvin refit to 6500 meters

Learn about the overhaul that will take human occupied vehicle Alvin to greater extremes

 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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New York Times: 25,000 Barrels Possibly Laced With DDT Are Found Off California Coast

April 29, 2021

Images, samples, and sidescan of several corroded barrels on the sea floor off the coast of California captured by ROV Jason and AUV Sentry in 2011 helped UC Santa Barbara scientist David Valentine uncover a massive and largely forgotten chemical waste dump on the seafloor near Los Angeles. Read the whole story in the New York Times.

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Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Drew Bewley

March 20, 2021

An Alvin pilot and electrical section leader on flying a sub he helped design. Read the full interview with Drew here.

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Oceanus Magazine: Racing an undersea volcano

March 19, 2021

Scientists hurry to map the seafloor with Sentry before the next volcanic eruption on the East Pacific Rise.

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NPR Shortwave: A Quick Dive Into How Submarines Work

March 18, 2021

  Listen to Alvin Program Manager Bruce Strickrott explain how Alvin stays in one piece under the enormous pressure of the ocean.

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Physics World Podcast: Adam Soule on Alvin’s past and future

February 19, 2021

Listen to Adam Soule talking about HOV Alvin–it’s storied history and promising future on this podcast from Physics World. The Alvin portion begins at 18:20.

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Meet the Alvin 6500 Team: Danik Forsman

January 26, 2021

An Alvin pilot and mechanical section leader on building a sub with his own hands. Read the whole interview here.

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