AUV SEABED Class Vehicles

  • WHOI engineers built the first SeaBED class vehicles to search for hydrothermal vents beneath the Arctic Ocean, including Jaguar (pictured here) and Puma. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

  • AUV Puma suspended over the edge of an ice floe near Antarctica. (Photo by Peter Kimbal, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

  • Deployment of SeaBED class AUV Mola Mola from NOAA's research vessel Henry B. Bigelow during an expedition to photograph the seafloor habitat of the Hudson Canyon. (Photo by Donglai Gong, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

  • Thhe SeaBED AUV Jaguar was used to map the underside of ice floes as part of a cruise conducted by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre aboard the icebreaker Aurora Australis in 2012. (Courtesy of Klaus Miners, © Australian Antarctic Division)

  • AUV Jaguar operating under water through an ice hole near Antarctica. (Courtesy of Klaus Miners, © Australian Antarctic Division)

  • Anemones cover a rock roughly 80 meters beneath the surface in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts in a photo taken by a SeaBED class vehicle in 2003. (Photo courtesy of SeaBED, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Animation of a SeaBED vehicle near the seafloor. (Animation by Tim Silva, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Video of the SeaBED class AUV Puma being deployed and under the ice.

About Seabed

SeaBED is a class of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that can fly slowly or hover over the seafloor to depths of 5,000 meters (16,400 feet). This makes them particularly suited to collecting highly detailed sonar and optical images that can be stitched together into high-resolution photo mosaics that focus on large features or specific details of the seafloor.

SeaBED page

Related mission


Length 2m (6.6 ft.)
Height 1.5m (5 ft.)
Width 1.2m (4 ft.)
Depth 5,000m (16,400 ft./3.1 miles)
Endurance 24 hours