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Underwater Vehicles

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Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are used for underwater survey missions. These essential tools for ocean exploration can go to places that are too dangerous or too difficult for humans to access.

AUV Sentry

AUV Sentry is a free-diving autonomous vehicle able to fly above the sea floor and make detailed surveys of volcanic craters, vents and areas of hydrothermal activity. AUV Sentry, will be supplied and operated by our partners at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (USA).

See the AUV Sentry being deployed for our research

Sentry will collect geophysical data as it ‘flys’ pre-programmed closely spaced tracks a few tens of metres off the ocean floor. Multibeam bathymetry and side scan sonar, collected by Sentry will produce high resolution bathymetry from which evidence of past volcanic flank failures will emerge.

AUV water column vent fluid sampling is used to identify hydrothermal emissions from the volcano.

Side scan sonar
Side scan sonar on the AUV Sentry. Photo taken by Lydia DiCaprio.