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ABE Joins Alvin and Jason at Sea

September 1, 2006

The Autonomous Benthic Explorer, ABE, one of the first autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to routinely work in the deep ocean, has joined the U.S. National Deep Submergence Facility, providing ocean scientists with a full range of tools to explore the deep sea. American scientists now have a human occupied vehicle (HOV), the three-person Alvin capable of diving to 4,500 meters (14,764 feet), the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason, which can reach 6,500 meters (21,385 feet), and ABE (AUV), capable of depths to 4,500 meters (14,764 feet) available to them to explore, map, photograph and collect samples. Plans call for ABE to be replaced by a new faster and more capable AUV named Sentry during 2007-2008 operations.