Images: A New Deep-Sea Robot Called
Crew members bring
Sentry back on board the ship during its inaugural test cruise in August 2008. The vehicle is designed to dive as deep as 5,000 meters (3.1 miles). It is powered by more than 1,000 lithium-ion batteries—similar to those used in laptop computers, though adapted for extreme pressures—which allow it to dive up to 20 hours. On this first cruise, it surveyed about 20.5 square miles (53 square kilometers) of seafloor. (Photo by Mitch Elend, University of Washington)
TowCam, a towed underwater camera system also operated by WHOI, worked in tandem with
Sentry during vehicle's first trip to sea. Sentry mapped the seafloor while TowCam took images. (Photo by Mitch Elend, University of Washington)
The TowCam underwater camera system took these photos of rocks and crabs on the seafloor. The images will be correlated with seafloor maps constructed with sonar data collected by
Sentry. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Kelley and John Delaney, University of Washington)
Sentry's first scientific mission, Dana Yoerger woke up after
a stressful 24-hour period of work to find that his shipboard colleagues playfully
painted a grin on the vehicle. (Does it resemble Yoerger's own smile?
(Photo by Dana Yoerger, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
WHOI engineer Dana Yoerger will join
Sentry on at least three expeditions planned for 2009: in the Gulf of Mexico; to study undersea oil seeps off Santa Barbara, Calif.; and to map a chain of active underwater volcanoes at the Carlsberg Ridge in the Indian Ocean.
(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)