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al, dana, with abe

Adieu to ABE

The Autonomous Benthic Explorer, fondly known as ABE, was lost at sea March 5, 2010, on an expedition off the coast of Chile during its 222nd research dive. Built as an experimental unmanned, untethered vehicle, ABE was a pioneer that proved the value of autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs, for deep-sea mapping, surveying, and imaging. Before ABE’s first mission in the mid-1990s, two of its inventors, Al Bradley (left) and Dana Yoerger, tested the vehicle in the test well at WHOI. Noting its resemblance to the Starship Enterprise, they painted the Enterprise’s registry number,“NCC-1701 B,” on ABE’s hull. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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