A NASA mission called Europa Clipper may, if funding and development timelines hold, launch in 2024 to do an orbital survey with the latest instruments and potentially, to pick some landing spots for a future spacecraft. And unlike the rovers we are used to on Mars, this futuristic robot is going to have to swim.
Weighing about 550 pounds, the six-foot-long Orpheus drone cost nearly $2 million to build and was named for the Greek poet and prophet. The main goal for this next-generation mini-submarine that was engineered and constructed by WHOI in Massachusetts, will be to increase our knowledge of the deepest areas of our planet’s oceans known as the hadal zone.
To successfully navigate throughout the Arctic requires understanding how these changes in sound propagation affect a vehicle’s ability to communicate and navigate.
A team of MIT engineers has developed a navigational method for autonomous vehicles to navigate accurately in the Arctic Ocean without GPS.
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicles are being engineered to help with natural disaster response.
New England winters can often feel as cold as the Arctic. But for researchers from WHOI’s Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering department, Vermont’s polar-like cold proved to be the perfect testing site for Remus 600. The state’s deepest lake – Lake Willoughby – offered fewer risks than the Arctic Ocean, while providing important data about ice measurement and water temperature, helping to streamline the real mission this fall.
Submarines can descend thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean, but to do so, they have to deal with an enormous amount of pressure. NPR caught up with WHOI’s Bruce Strickrott, Group Manager and Chief Pilot of the Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin, who explains some of the fundamental engineering principles that allow submarines to dive so deep without imploding under the pressure, and shares updates on Alvin’s overhaul and future dives.
Human Occupied Vehicle (HOV) Alvin is part of the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF). Alvin is one of the most recognized deep submergence vessels in the world and the only one in the U.S. capable of carrying humans into extreme ocean depths. The sub has completed 5,065 successful dives, more than all other submersible programs worldwide combined. When Alvin relaunches next fall, the iconic sub will have the ability to dive to 6500 meters (21,325 feet)—almost 4 miles deep and 2,000 meters deeper than Alvin’s current maximum depth of 4500 meters (14,800 feet). The upgrade will also give the sub access to 99% of the ocean floor.
Soule talks to Physics World’s James Dacey about doing science in the Alvin submersible vehicle, which is currently be refurbished to allow it to reach the astonishing depth of 6.5 km.
Drawing on 90 years of leadership in ocean discovery and exploration, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists are engaged in an array of research projects using autonomous systems to advance their understanding of marine environments.
Increased depth range and the ability to explore 99% of the ocean floor, including the abyssal region—one of the least understood areas of the deep sea—are just some of the upgrades underway for the iconic human-occupied Vehicle (HOV) Alvin that were unveiled today at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Fall Meeting 2020.
The game-changing technologies that will transform our ability to understand and manage Earth’s last great frontier. Monitoring instruments—and ocean technologies in general—have come a long way. We now have Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled robots that not only allow researchers to access the most remote spots in the ocean, but can decide where to explore once they get there.
A scientist involved in the discovery of the Titanic happened to be on board, so he helped them program the robots on where to go and how to search for the barrels. A marine geochemistry lab at WHOI ran the samples.
“Macroalgae needs to scale up to the point where it’s economically feasible for biofuel, and to do this we are going to have thousands of hectares of farms,” says Erin Fischell, an assistant scientist at WHOI.
Erin Fischell, an assistant scientist at WHOI, points out: “Macroalgae needs to scale up to the point where it’s economically feasible for biofuel, and to do this we are going to have thousands of hectares of farms.”
Mr. Dalio was thinking of buying the Alucia when a team of WHOI experts used the vessel and an undersea robot to find the shattered remains of Air France Flight 447, which in 2009 had vanished over the South Atlantic with 228 passengers. Other search teams had failed, and Mr. Dalio saw the 2011 success as an indication of the field’s exploratory promise.
Dr Virginia Edgcomb heads a laboratory at WHOI in the US. She spent three months on a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean conducting research as part of a quest to find evidence of microbial life within the lower oceanic crust.
Carl Wirsen from WHOI, in his presentation, displayed how little we know about the deepest part of the oceans.
The second vehicle is our Orpheus vehicle, and this is a partnership between JPL and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
To build machines capable of plunging into the frozen oceans on Europa and Enceladus, Nasa tested out submersibles in one of Earth’s most inhospitable environments
On September 19th, the research vessel, Kronprins Haakon, departed Longyearbyen, Svalbard headed toward the Aurora hydrothermal vent field, located along the Gakkel Ridge some 4000 meters below the arctic ice.
An autonomous robotic system invented by researchers at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) efficiently sniffs out the most scientifically interesting — but hard-to-find — sampling spots in vast, unexplored waters.
For researchers, affordable tech opens up new worlds. “Your decision process is fundamentally different when you can use cheaper tools,” says Jim Bellingham, director of the Center for Marine Robotics at WHOI.