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National Deep Submergence Facility

About NDSF

Working for the benefit of the entire U.S. oceanographic community, WHOI operates a fleet of deep-sea exploration vehicles through the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF).

HOV Alvin

Alvin is a 3-person research submarine that takes scientists deep into the ocean. Since its launch in 1964, the Alvin has taken more than 2,500 scientists, engineers and observers to visit the floor of the deep sea.

ROV Jason/Medea

Jason is a remote-controlled deep-diving vessel that gives shipboard scientists immediate, real-time access to the sea floor. Instead of making short, expensive dives in a submarine, scientists can stay on deck and guide Jason as deep as 6,500 meters (4 miles) to explore for days on end.

AUV Sentry

The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry is following in the wake of its predecessor, ABE, as a fully autonomous underwater vehicle capable of exploring the ocean down to 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) depth. Sentry builds on ABE's success with improved speed, range, and maneuverability. Sentry's hydrodynamic shape also allows faster ascents and descents.


Learn more about NDSF's vehicle data acquisition and capabilities, processing tools, data holdings and more.

Cruise Planning

Find information you need if you are interested in using a NDSF vehicle or have one reserved and are preparing for a cruise.