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We put the deep ocean within reach.

Abyssal Science Webinar starts June 16

 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.

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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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Taking the long way home

June 9, 2020

Getting Jason and Sentry back to Woods Hole in the face of cancelled expeditions, closed ports, and tropical cyclones

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Cape Cod and the Islands Magazine: Lessons on Small Space Living from a Submarine Pilot

May 14, 2020

Living in a confined space in response to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders is nothing new for Bruce Strickrott. As a pilot of human-occupied vehicle (HOV) Alvin and manager of the Alvin Group, he has spent years making his life at sea. Read the interview to learn the routines that serve him best.

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Cape Cod Times: Plunging into the final frontier

April 13, 2020

“Now an $8 million upgrade to the submersible powerhouse Alvin will allow WHOI researchers nearly unprecedented access to some of the most inaccessible corners of the world’s deepest waters, helping us once again to remember what it means to be amazed.” Read an opinion piece on the Alvin upgrade in the Cape Cod Times.

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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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