AUV Sentry Image 2
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AUV Sentry (Image 2)

July 13, 2010
Ready for primetime, the National Deep Submergence Facility's (NDSF) new autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry, now completed and equipped with scientific payload, is lowered into the water from RV Oceanus during its first stand-alone, deep-ocean "proving" dive in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, off southern Massachusetts in April 2008.

Sentry is a robotic underwater vehicle used for exploring the deep ocean. It will often be used to complement Alvin by surveying large swaths of ocean floor to determine the best spots for close-up exploration. Sentry is slated to join the NDSF in 2008. The National Science Foundation supported the building of Sentry (under grant OCE 06-44290), up to but not including the final trials cruise in April 2008, which was supported by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Access to the Sea program.

NDSF is hosted at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) who, since 1964, has operated deep-sea exploration vehicles for the benefit of the entire U.S. oceanographic community. NDSF is a federally funded center that operates, maintains and coordinates the use of three vital deep ocean vehicles: the human occupied vehicle (HOV) Alvin, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason/Medea, and the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) ABE/Sentry. Whether diving 4,500 meters (14,764 feet) or remaining submerged for several days, each vehicle offers unique tools to explore the mysteries beneath the ocean's surface.

The NDSF is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The operation is managed by WHOI and overseen by the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), an organization of 62 academic institutions and national laboratories involved in marine research. (Date of Image: April 2008) [See related image Here.]

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