The Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) is a fully autonomous
vehicle used for survey of the deep seafloor for depths of 5000 meters.
produces bathymetric and magnetic maps of the seafloor and has been
quantitatively survey hydrothermal vents. Most recently, ABE has been
used to locate, map, and photograph deep sea vent sites based on
clues provided by towed and lowered instruments. ABE has taken digital
photographs in a variety of deep sea terrains, including the first
surveys in an active hydrothermal vent site. To date, ABE has completed
dives in the deep ocean over 13 cruises, covering over 2500 km of
at an average survey depth of over 2000 meters.