ROVs, AUVs, and ABE!
Researchers use instruments anchored to the ocean floor, floating in the water, towed behind ships, and contained in manned and remotely operated submersibles and satellites. Among the alphabet soup of exploratory equipment, ROVs are remotely operated vehicles tethered to a mother ship. AUVs are newer, battery-operated, autonomous underwater vehicles. ABE, or Autonomous Benthic Explorer, is the name of one underwater robot from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that can survey the ocean floor at depths up to 5500 meters with its video cameras, sensors and scanning sonar. Its computers guide it on a pre-determined path. ABE can be deployed at night from the research ship while submersible dives occur during the day, or it can "sleep" on the ocean floor between jobs. To learn more about ABE, check out this Web site: http://www.dsl.whoi.edu/DSL/dana/abe_serious.html
To interpret data used to map an imaginary portion of the ocean floor and see an actual bathymetric map, please visit our InterActivities page.
To find out more about the research tools that oceanographers use, check out this Web page at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL):
Based on data analyzed by the chief scientist and others for this cruise, we are going to a vent on the South Cleft of the Juan de Fuca Ridge on the Mid-Ocean Ridge.
The Juan de Fuca Ridge is off the Washington-Oregon coastline of the Western United States.
Map courtesy of NOAA.
Here we go! -->
<-- Go back to the previous page
<-- Go back to the main Research Tools page
<-- Go back to the Welcome Aboard! page