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Research Highlights

News & Insights

Robin Littlefield

Exploration Enabler: Robin Littlefield

November 13, 2019

WHOI engineer Robin Littlefield is on a mission to increase the reach of science through the development and operation of autonomous underwater vehicles.

The “sub” text of 45 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

October 30, 2019

Rick Chandler is a senior submersible engineer and administrator for the Alvin Group at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he’s worked for more than 45 years.

Flight of the underwater falcon

October 24, 2019

How a remotely operated vehicle made by Saab is lending a watchful eye to scientific mooring operations.

The hive mind behind a swarm of submersibles

October 16, 2019

The vastness of our oceans demands extensive study methods. Erin Fischell, an assistant scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, has been experimenting with a swarm of autonomous underwater vehicles that aim to both minimize cost and maximize the scope of scientific assessment at sea.

orpheus

The Rise of Orpheus (Part 2)

October 16, 2019

WHOI’s new deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle moves one step closer to exploring the hadal zone—the deepest region of the ocean—to search for new clues about the limits of life on Earth, and possibly beyond.

Erin Fischell tests a new autonomous underwater vehicle

Erin Fischell wins Moore Inventor Fellowship

October 15, 2019

Erin Fischell, an assistant scientist in Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has been awarded the Moore Inventor Fellowship for her work on ocean robotics.

Sloan's viperfish (Chauliodus sloani)

The Ocean’s Eerie Twilight Zone is in Murky Legal Water

September 10, 2019

Scientists are trying to keep one of the world’s last great wildernesses intact

Rapid Response at Sea

September 6, 2019

As sea ice continues to melt in the Arctic and oil exploration expands in the region, the possibility of an oil spill occurring under ice is higher than ever. To help first responders cope with oil trapped under ice, ocean engineers are developing undersea vehicles that can map oil spills to improve situational awareness and decision making during an emergency.

Robot Swarm

Underwater robots swarm the ocean

August 22, 2019

Researchers test a new, acoustic-based navigation system to solve a problem that oceanographers have grappled with for years—getting multiple underwater robots to monitor the ocean cooperatively in swarm-like fashion.

Once more into the Twilight Zone

August 1, 2019

On July 25, scientists embarked on the 2019 Ocean Twilight Zone expedition aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. A team made up of WHOI and NOAA Fisheries researchers departed Newport, R.I., Thursday morning and headed south towards the edge of the continental shelf. This will be the first full scientific mission into the ocean twilight zone for the towed underwater vehicle, Deep-See.

News Releases

Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Honors WHOI Scientist

December 29, 2020

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers  (IEEE) elected Dana Yoerger as a 2021 fellow for the development of autonomous underwater vehicles for deep-ocean exploration and science. Yoerger is a senior scientist in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department...

WHOI reveals upgrades to iconic submersible Alvin

December 10, 2020

One of the world’s most prolific research submersibles will put 99% of the ocean floor within reach of science community when it relaunches in 2021 Increased depth range and the ability to explore 99% of the ocean floor, including the...

OSU Assumes Cyberinfrastructure Responsibility for OOI

October 5, 2020

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Oregon State University (OSU) jointly announced that OSU will assume responsibilities for the systems management of the cyberinfrastructure that makes data transmission for the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) possible through September of 2023.  OSU...

WHOI Announces D’Works Marine Technology Initiative for Massachusetts Startups and Entrepreneurs

August 26, 2020

Massachusetts has long been known as a center of invention and technical innovation and, more recently, has gained attention for its vibrant marine robotics startup community. Now startup companies, entrepreneurs, and others in the Commonwealth who work in the marine...

WHOI Scientists Make Woods Hole Film Festival Appearance

July 17, 2020

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists appear in two shorts and a feature film at this year’s Woods Hole Film Festival (WHFF). In addition, scientists will also participate in Q&A sessions connected to three of the festival’s feature-length, ocean-themed entries....

WHOI researcher dives to Challenger Deep

June 26, 2020

Ying-Tsong Lin is the 12th person in history and the first person of Asian descent to visit ocean’s deepest seafloor A Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researcher became one of just a handful of people to visit the deepest part of...

Ocean explorer and filmmaker James Cameron to host virtual event on Extreme Ocean Machines

May 18, 2020

Discussion with experts on ocean technology, exploration, and storytelling On May 20, ocean explorer and world-renowned filmmaker James Cameron will host a special edition of Ocean Encounters, a popular virtual event series from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Viewers of this special event,...

What did scientists learn from Deepwater Horizon?

April 20, 2020

Paper reviews major findings, technological advances that could help in next deep-sea spill.  Ten years ago, a powerful explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Over a span of 87...

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens conservation fund commits $900,000 to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales

November 14, 2019

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund announced that it has committed $900,000 over the next three years in the fight to save the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.  The announcement was made by Dr. Michael Moore of the Woods...

Basking shark

SharkCam reveals secret lives of basking sharks in UK

August 6, 2019

Underwater footage captured by the REMUS SharkCam observing the behavior of basking sharks off the west coast of Scotland. (Credit: Amy Kukulya, @oceanrobotcam, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) known as the REMUS SharkCam has been used...

Oceanus Magazine

Photo of Susan and Coleman Burke

Gift enables new investments in ocean technologies

November 7, 2020

Gift enables new investments in ocean technologies By Elise Hugus | November 9, 2020 Susan and Coleman Burke. Photo courtesy the Burke Foundation. As any business knows, access to startup capital is key to staying competitive in a rapidly-shifting technological landscape. A $500,000...

the sea ahead

Sea Ahead

July 27, 2020

Sea Ahead The game-changing oceantechnologies that will transform ourability to understand—and manage—Earth’s last great frontier By Evan Lubofsky | July 27, 2020 Sea Ahead The game-changing ocean technologies that will transform our ability to understand —and manage—Earth’s last great frontier...

Rapid Response at Sea

September 18, 2019

Rapid Response at Sea Long-endurance robots tested for oil detection in the event of a spill in the Arctic By Evan Lubofsky | September 18, 2019 Ocean engineers are developing undersea vehicles that are capable of tracking oil spills under...

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

May 25, 2019

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables Researchers test ocean robots to make subsea cable surveys faster and cheaper By Evan Lubofsky | May 25, 2019 https://www.whoi.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/OffshoreWind-Cable-Monitoring-Option1.mp4 Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)—a staple of oceanographic research—can perform subsea cable...

glider

Navigating the Changing Arctic

April 25, 2019

Navigating the Changing Arctic New glider will collect critical-but-scarce ice thickness measurements By Evan Lubofsky | April 25, 2019 WHOI scientists Rich Camilli (left) and Ted Maksym are developing a new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that will measure ice thickness...

The Deep-See Peers into the Depths

The Deep-See Peers into the Depths

February 20, 2019

In the ocean’s shadowy depths lies one of the Earth’s last frontiers: the ocean twilight zone. It’s a vast swath of water extending throughout the world’s oceans from 650 to 3,280 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) below the surface, and...

Coding Curiosity

Coding Curiosity

January 16, 2019
Warping Sound in the Ocean

Warping Sound in the Ocean

November 28, 2018

Star Trek fans would tell you that it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light using spatio-temporal warping. Honorable scientists would say that’s science fiction. However, some scientists like me have not discarded the ideas of spatio-temporal...

Life at the Edge

August 14, 2018

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean? To find out, a group of scientists on the research vessel Neil Armstrong spent two weeks at sea in 2018 as part of...

The Discovery of Hydrothermal Vents

The Discovery of Hydrothermal Vents

June 11, 2018

“Wait a minute. What is that?” It was February 1977, and Robert Ballard, a marine geologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), sat aboard the research vessel Knorr 400 miles off the South American coast, staring at photos before him....