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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 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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Tracking the ups and downs of Axial Seamount

July 10, 2024

Story by Marley Parker Bright lights illuminate rain drops splattering across the back deck of R/V Atlantis. It’s just after 2:00 a.m., but the entire ROV team (and most of our science team) is awake and ready to go to work. Expedition Leader Akel Kevis-Stirling lifts a radio to his ear as the voice of…

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Science enabled by NDSF vehicles at Ocean Sciences

February 5, 2024

Learn how data collected from NDSF vehicles is moving science forward. Here are some talks featuring our vehicles at the upcoming Ocean Sciences Meeting 2024.

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How to catch a plume

November 21, 2023

Sampling hydrothermal iron with adaptive AUV Sentry dives. A cruise of unusual and uniquely challenging Sentry missions: real-time course modifications, remotely triggered sample collection, and flying the vehicle in midwater.

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Eleven new Alvin divers!

September 27, 2023

In August, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsored three days of engineering dives with human-occupied vehicle Alvin off the coast of San Diego, California. The vehicle team and crew of R/V Atlantis took federal agency representatives from the National Science Foundation, ONR, NAVSEA, Office of Management and Budget, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and WHOI leadership on a short expedition to demonstrate the intricate operations and rigorous protocols that enable safe scientific submersible operations.

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Robot Rescues!

August 29, 2023

ROV Jason assists in the recovery of three autonomous research platforms-two of which were unplanned-during the Visions 23 expedition to the Ocean Observatories Initiative Regional Cabled Array. Read more >

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Mission accomplished!

July 31, 2023

The PROTATAX23 Science Team and members of the Jason Team on deck of R/V Thomas Thompson. (Photo by Thompson AB Elena Wisecarver, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) The numbers and teamwork that made PROTATAX23 a success   The dives are over, samples are stowed in freezers, Jason is strapped to the deck, and R/V Thomas Thompson…

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