Exploring the Ocean

SV3 wave glider


Over 70% of the planet is covered by water, however, less than 20% of the seafloor has been mapped or otherwise studied. Since its inception, researchers at FAU Harbor Branch have been driven to explore new environments and make ground-breaking discoveries. Our scientists and engineers work to develop the technologies that will enable us to map, observe and sample diverse marine habitats and organisms around the world.

AA Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) exploring a deep coral reef habitat

Unmanned Underwater Research

The advent of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) technology has dramatically increased the efficiency, frequency and depth of underwater exploration missions. AUVs are specialized robots capable of operating on their own using onboard computers, sensors and batteries. These instruments can conduct missions for months at a time, traveling vast distances and diving to depths of over 18,000 feet. Scientists at Harbor Branch develop and use specialized AUVs outfitted with advanced sensors to collect oceanographic data and study, for example, the physical features of the seafloor, ecology of deep-water coral reefs, and endangered fish spawning aggregations. (Pictured above is a NOAA Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) exploring a deep coral reef habitat.)

HBOI ocean fish