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Sentry autonomous vehicle

A Sentry in the Sea

A variety of communication and tracking devices line the top of Sentry, allowing scientists to stay in continuous touch with the nearly 10-foot-long autonomous underwater vehicle. Keeping track of the vehicle is critical; Sentry explores depths to 19,685 feet for up to 40 hours at a time. Devices shown here include (right to left) a radio direction finder beacon, a strobe light, a radio antenna for on-deck and on-surface control and communication, a transponder-release (for tracking and simple communication), a GPS irridium system (which sends email messages via satellites when Sentry surfaces), and an acoustic transducer (for sending large volumes of data when the vehicle is on the seafloor). (Photo by Richard Pittenger, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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