Labs & Groups


Acoustic Communications Group

Acoustic communications and navigation systems provide telemetry, control, and positioning for undersea instrumentation and vehicles. The Acoustic Communications Group at WHOI has been developing and performing research in this area for more than 15 years. Their work focuses on developing new methods and improving existing systems for underwater acoustic communication, particularly underwater modems. The group often collaborates with MIT, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Navy Surface Warfare Center, University of Washington, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, SAIC, Penn State, and many others.

Advanced Engineering Lab (AEL)

The Advanced Engineering Laboratory is made up of engineers and technical support personnel who work with scientists to develop oceanographic instrumentation. Instruments such as buoys to measure meteorological data, sensors for underwater navigation, whale tagging devices, and the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) have been designed at AEL.

Coastal and Ocean Fluid Dynamics Lab (COFDL)

The Coastal and Ocean Fluid Dynamics Laboratory focuses on oceanic processes affecting circulation and transport of sediment, the exchange of heat and momentum across the air-water interface, and dispersal of organisms within the ocean layers. Lab members study coastal and estuarine processes, the surface and bottom boundary layers of the ocean, and mixing in the ocean interior.

Deep Submergence Lab (DSL)/Submersive Eng. Lab (SEL)

The Deep Submergence Lab develops systems for remote, unmanned exploration of the ocean depths and is the home of remotely-operated vehicles and instruments ARGO, ABE, Jason/Medea, and the DSL-120 sonar sled. The Submersible Engineering & Operations Lab (SEL) is an integral part of DSL.

Mooring Operations & Engineering (MOE)

The Mooring Operations & Engineering (MOE) group provides a full range of mooring services from design and fabrication through deployment and recovery. Collectively, this team brings more than 100 years of experience to the oceanographic community worldwide.

Ocean Acoustics & Signals Laboratory (OASL)

Research concentrates on the use of acoustics to measure ocean properties, temperature, and to detect biological and geological objects in the ocean. Ocean acoustic tomography, shallow water acoustic propagation, and acoustic scattering in the ocean from zooplankton are studied. Projects include acoustic monitoring of sediment transport off the California and New Jersey coasts.

Oceanographic Systems Lab (OSL)

The Oceanographic Systems Laboratory is made up of several engineers who work with scientists to develop complex ocean systems including the Long-Term Environmental Observatory (LEO-15) and the Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO). Ocean monitoring devices such as the Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS (REMUS) and the Towed Oceanographic Survey System (TOSS) were developed by OSL personnel.

Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI)

The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Lab was formed specifically to build and manage the Coastal and Global Observatories (CGO). The team of dedicated engineers, scientists and management personnel also draws on experience from the other AOPE Labs and WHOI departments to bring the institution's experience to bear on this ambitious and exciting NSF-funded program. We work on CGO with colleagues at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Our efforts are combined with Regional, CyberInfrastructure and Education/Public Outreach OOI Projects coordinated by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Marine robots live in a communication starved environment where autonomy is an absolute requirement for their deployment. WHOI's Autonomous Robotics and Perception Laboratory (WARPLab) is interested in the algorithmic and machine learning challenges in making autonomous exploration robots that can perceive and understand their surroundings at various levels of abstraction to plan their mission.