Underwater Vehicles


Alvin‘s Pilots

Alvin's Pilots

Forty summers ago in the Bahamas, two men climbed inside a 23-foot white submarine named Alvin and drove it to…

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Robo-Sailors

Robo-Sailors

In the mid-1990s, the Navy began funding research for small, robotic vehicles to perform unmanned reconnaissance in coastal waters. At WHOI, that helped spark the development of REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS), designed and built by Chris von Alt, Ben Allen, and colleagues in the Oceanographic Systems Laboratory.

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Realizing the Dreams of da Vinci and Verne

Realizing the Dreams of da Vinci and Verne

Leonardo da Vinci made the first drawings of a submarine more than 500 years ago, and Jules Verne published 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1875. But only in the past few decades has the dizzying pace of technological advances allowed us to realize their dreams of exploring the ocean depths and taking humans to the seafloor.

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Unique Vehicles for a Unique Environment

Unique Vehicles for a Unique Environment

For climatologists and physical oceanographers, it is often said that the Arctic is a canary in the environmental coal mine. In the isolated Arctic Ocean Basin, a variety of oceanographic and other processes have conspired to create a layer of cold, salty water called a halocline, which shields the sea ice from underlying warmer waters that would otherwise melt it.

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New Hybrid Vehicle Will Enable U.S. Scientists to Reach Deepest Parts of the World Ocean Floor

For the first time since 1960, US scientists will be able to explore the deepest parts of the world’s oceans, up to seven miles below the surface, with a novel underwater vehicle capable of performing multiple tasks in extreme conditions. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are developing a battery-powered underwater robot to enable scientists to explore the ocean’s most remote regions up to 11,000 meters (36,000-feet) deep.

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WHOI and Access to the Sea

WHOI and Access to the Sea

In the mid-term future, two WHOI ships (Knorr in about 2006 and Oceanus in about 2009) will reach the end of their planned service lives. There is general agreement that WHOI should work to replace them with two vessels.

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“What a Year!”

"What a Year!"

Four technologies that have been developing separately for some time were brought together this year by WHOI’s Deep Submergence Laboratory (DSL) to serve three very different user communities. With images from the towed vehicle Argo II and the remotely operated vehicle Jason, DSL scientists and engineers created mosaic images of a sunken British cargo ship and 20-meter-tall hydrothermal vent chimneys, both in the Pacific Ocean, and ancient shipwreck sites in the Mediterranean. The three expeditions thus served the marine safety, scientific, and archaeological communities.

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The Magnetic Thickness of a Recent Submarine Lava Flow

The Magnetic Thickness of a Recent Submarine Lava Flow

Submarine lava flows and their associated narrow feeder conduits known as dikes constitute the basic building blocks of the upper part of the ocean crust. We are only beginning to understand how lava erupts and forms on the seafloor by flooding topographic lows, flowing through channels or tubes, centralizing into volcanoes, or some combination of all of these.

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