NDSF Vehicle Engineering Days

WHOI operates the NDSF, which includes the human-occupied Deep Submergence Vehicle
(HOV) Alvin, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Jason, and the Autonomous Underwater
Vehicle (AUV) Sentry. These facilities are funded by federal agencies such as the National
Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and National Oceanic &
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a daily rate basis, to provide deep sea capabilities for
funded science programs sponsored by these agencies. R/V Atlantis served as the support
vehicle for HOV Alvin. The ROV and AUV can be installed on other vessels suitable for their
deployment. This “fly-away” capability provides scheduling flexibility to meet a much wider
range of requirements for the scientific community.

Engineering dives are a critical part of keeping the facility up to date. The new technologies and techniques requested and required by scientists must ultimately be tested and refined in deep water. Engineering dives allow this to occur without risk to the core scientific mission.