Welcome back to the National Deep Submergence Facility newsletter! All three vehicles are in action this fall, with sea trials for Alvin in Bermuda, Sentry hunting new hydrothermal vents along the southern East Pacific Rise, and Jason preparing to join Sentry to test new methane sensors at the Guaymas Basin hydrothermal vent field. Keep reading for interviews with our team and a virtual event featuring the new Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence.
Alvin’s sea trials are underway and the first phase took place before R/V Atlantis left the dock in Woods Hole. Last week, a 3-person team entered the sphere, closed the hatch, and stayed inside for over 12 hours; followed by another team (above) who “rode” inside for more than 5 hours on emergency breathing apparatus. This week, Alvin is headed to Bermuda to dive to its new maximum depth of 6,500 meters. Read our blog for regular updates.
Dr. Anna Michel, an associate scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was appointed the Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence (CSDS) at the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF). This role places Michel at the forefront of deep submergence for the academic research community, working as a liaison to connect scientists with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution teams that operate the NDSF underwater vehicles. Michel is the first woman to serve in this role and began this post on July 1. Read the announcement.
A future launch port for NDSF vehicles
The Complex for Waterfront Access To Exploration and Research (CWATER) will be a marine research facility built on the footprint of the existing Iselin dock that is designed to accommodate projected sea level rise in Woods Hole Village and provide upgraded working space and waterfront public areas. The new building will include a 2,400 square foot High Bay for Alvin work and enhanced testing facilities for Jason, Sentry, and WHOI’s other autonomous vehicle platforms. Take a look.
Internships to work on Alvin, Jason, and Sentry
The National Deep Submergence Facility hosts interns to work with autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry, remotely operated vehicle Jason, and Human Occupied Vehicle Alvin through the MATE program. They also consider individual applicants and are in the process of establishing long-term partnerships with universities that will create opportunities for populations that are underrepresented in engineering and operations of deep ocean technology.
Anna Michel on Ocean Encounters
October 27, 7:30pm ET
Hear from four women engineers who explore extreme places in the ocean and outer space. Featuring Anna Michel, Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence at NDSF, in conversation with NASA Astronaut and former Alvin engineer Loral O' Hara, WHOI Senior Engineer Gwyneth Packard, WHOI Research Engineer Kaitlyn Tradd, hosted byCarol Anne Clayson, WHOI climate scientist and Associate Director of Research Strategy. Register here.
This is a really exciting time to be a roboticist who also cares about the environment—and to be a scientist who has access to new tools for research. Maybe I’m a little overly optimistic, but I believe we’re at a pivotal moment for exploration.”
Victoria Preston is a MIT-WHOI Joint Program Student working in Anna Michel's lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Nicholas Roy's Robust Robotics Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Working closely with NDSF engineers, she has developed algorithms to help remotely operated and autonomous underwater robots observe the movement of hydrothermal plumes underwater. She will be testing this new technology with Sentry during a cruise to the Guaymas Basin this fall. Read more at MIT News.