Marine fouling, from the growth of microorganisms, algae, plants or animals can have a severe impact on the operating efficiency of submerged sensors and devices. WHOI scientists have developed innovative tools and techniques to protect against, or minimize, the fouling of underwater surfaces and sensors.
Biologically produced hydrocarbons or “biofuel” have enjoyed a steadily increasing economic importance over the past three decades. WHOI scientists are at the forefront of developing fundamental ecological, physiological, genetic, and biochemical insights geared towards enhancing both existing and emerging biofuel technologies and production processes.
Environmental monitoring in the coastal ecosystem means measuring physical, chemical, and/or biological variables over time to provide information on ecosystem status. Developing the most up-to-date and innovative tools and methods for sustainable and accurate data collection & analysis in coastal and deep-water zones is an area of particular importance to the WHOI scientific staff.
The ocean is largely opaque to radio transmission. WHOI scientists and engineers have developed a portfolio of innovative acoustical and optical undersea high speed data transmission systems, giving WHOI a strong, international reputation as an innovator in underwater acoustic and optical communications.
Marine Equipment WHOI scientists and engineers excel in the design, development and monitoring of the robotics, transport vehicles, smart moorings and support structures required to successfully accomplish this dynamic coastal, deep ocean and under-ice oceanographic complex missions.
Marine sensors find application in oceanographic pollution monitoring, offshore exploration, disaster prevention, assisted navigation and tactical surveillance. WHOI scientists and engineers are constantly pushing the state-of-the-art in developing and fabricating new chemical, biological, imaging and communication sensors to more stringently measure ocean conditions and processes and provide a continuous flow of undersea data to countless end-users in near-real time.
At the microscopic level, the oceans are a complex world of competing micro-organisms and microbiomes where chemical defense and communication play a crucial role, making the oceans an enormous, largely untapped reservoir of bioactive molecules. WHOI maintains a culture collection of >2000 species of unique bacteria, fungi, and phytoplankton. These organisms have shown value both as sources of therapeutic molecules and as the basis for bio- assays of minerals, toxins and nutrients.
Robotic systems promise to open the ocean to humans in new ways. WHOI’s innovations in robotics are improving efficiency, lowering costs, and reducing the risks of marine operations. Robotic technology also allows scientists, industry, and the military to address marine problems in new ways, and to solve previously unaddressable challenges.