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We put the deep ocean within reach.

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 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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Underway: VISIONS’20 Expedition. Watch Jason at work on the sea floor.

August 17, 2020

ROV Jason is at sea on the R/V Thompson for a 30-day maintenance cruise to service the Regional Cabled Array. From University of Washington’s Interactive Oceans: Jason will again be diving to depths as great as 9500 ft beneath the oceans’ surface, on the highly active summit of Axial Seamount where underwater hot springs covered…

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SciTechDaily: Hydrothermal fluid from Picard Vents leads to discovery that transforms understanding of hydrogen depletion at the seafloor

August 11, 2020

Using samples collected by ROV Jason II and Nereus, Scientists analyzing hydrothermal fluid from Piccard vents at Mid-Cayman Rise found “non-biological processes deplete hydrogen that was thought to be readily available to subseafloor microbial communities; discovery could impact global hydrogen budget.” Read the article here.

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Gizmodo: “It really is otherworldly”

July 20, 2020

Jason Sylvan from Texas A&M talks about exploring the East Pacific Rise at 9°50’N in HOV Alvin. “I was blown away with just how much different it is actually being there and looking out a window and seeing the site right in front of you,” he told Gizmodo. Watch the video and read the whole…

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Overhaul to take Alvin to greater extremes

July 15, 2020

The final phase of an overhaul that will allow the submarine to dive to 6,500 meters is underway. Read the whole story here.

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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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