Schmidt Ocean Institute News

Superheated hydrothermal fluid flows upwards from an underwater volcano 2000m below the Gulf of California, Mexico (Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Scientists Find New Hydrothermal Field

Scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor recently discovered and explored a hydrothermal field at 2,000 meters depth in the Gulf of California where towering mineral structures serve as biological hotspots for life. These newly discovered geological formations feature upside down ‘mirror-like flanges’ that act as pooling sites for discharged fluids.While exploring hydrothermal vent and cold seep environments, Dr. Mandy Joye (University of Georgia), and her interdisciplinary research team discovered large venting mineral towers that reach up to 23 meters in

Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute

A SmallSat AUV Network

space probes and their “infrastructure of Deep Space Network for spacecraft.” While “power is an important shortcoming”, too, it’s the communications problem that keeps this triad of researchers awake at nights.AUV networker: Professor Joao Tasso de Sousa aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute vessel, Falkor. Photo: Schmidt Ocean InstitutePortuguese explorerRajan is right about Prof. Tasso: “The superpower in AUVs and marine robotics is our close friend and collaborator, Joao Tasso (De Sousa).”In fact, Portugal is a powerhouse of AUV development and research. Apart

Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Subsea Robotics: SOI Mission Discovers New Hydrothermal Vent and Species

AUV, ROV Seafloor Mapping Systems Used on an expedition aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V FalkorSchmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor recently discovered a spectacular new hydrothermal vent field, named JaichMatt, in the Souther Pescadero Basin, Gulf of California.The vents were identified using Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institution’s (MBARI) Dorado autonomous underwater vehicle to conduct exploratory seafloor surveys with one meter lateral resolution. Simultaneously, MBARI's new Low Altitude Survey System was used from Schmidt Ocean Institute’s ROV SuBastian to map

Number 1 on MTR's list of "Top10 Ocean Influencers" is Yohei Sasakawa, chairman, Nippon Foundation. (Copyright: Nippon Foundation.)

MTR’s “Top 10” Ocean Influencers

on the government’s historic Tektite II deep-sea research project, during which time the team conducted groundbreaking work on the effects of coral reef pollution. She has participated in ten saturation dives and set the women’s solo diving record in 1,000 meters depth.  No. 7Schmidt Ocean InstituteFalkor & Aerial vehicle. (Photo courtesy of Schmidt Ocean Institute)SOI is disrupting the way science at sea is conducted and shared. Over the past year it has supported research that use multiple underwater platforms simultaneously and allow for adaptive planning of science in real time

Researchers converted their three-finger soft manipulator to a two-finger version, seen here performing a pinch grasp on an extremely delicate sea cucumber. (Credit: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

A Soft Solution to a Hard Underwater Problem

Phillips, Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island, Randi Rotjan, Ph.D. from Boston University, Timothy Shank, Ph.D. from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Erik Cordes, Ph.D. from Temple University.The research was supported by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association, the Schmidt Ocean Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the PIPA Conservation Trust, the PIPA Scientific Committee, and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Scientists Set Record with Self-Driving Robots

In a joint effort between the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE), the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), several long-range autonomous underwater vehicles (LRAUVs) have successfully completed their first voyage in the open ocean, obtaining data on the water column down to 250 meters, while autonomously collecting and archive seawater samples to capture microbial community dynamics in the oceans interior. Since March 10, 2018, the team on research vessel Falkor has been deploying these new robots programmed with several

ROV SuBastian on Sea Trials. (Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Creating Superior Buoyancy with Air

Full testing to hydrostatic pressure on random samples, 10 percent of manufactured blocks tested at service pressure for 24 hours.   Case Study Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation recently engineered and manufactured a custom syntactic foam buoyancy package for the Schmidt Ocean Institute for use on its new ROV, SuBastian.   The Schmidt Ocean Institute underwater robotic research program includes the design and development of a 4,500 meter robotic vehicle for use on research vessel Falkor. The ROV is outfitted with a suite of sensors and scientific equipment to support

A satellite image shows Falkor’s track and the colors in ocean water. Colors indicate the amount of chlorophyll, where red is the highest and blue the lowest. (Image: NASA/ Norman Kuring)

New Tech Gives Insight to Ocean Color for NASA Satellites

Having recently returned to land on board Schmidt Ocean Institute’s (SOI) research vessel Falkor, NASA Scientists have made important observations of phytoplankton with new technology to support current and future satellite observations.   A swath of new instruments were debuted during a 25 day expedition across the Pacific exploring a wide variety of oceanic ecosystems. The focus of chief scientist Dr. Ivona Cetinic´, USRA/NASA, and her multidisciplinary team of oceanographers, engineers, biologists and computer scientists was to explore ocean particles, and more specifically the

(Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Uncharted Depths: Exploring the Marianas with SuBastian

of the Mariana Trench. In 1987, the submersible Alvin was the first to visit the nearby Mariana Back-arc, a zone of highly active submarine volcanism and hydrothermal vents hidden 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. After returning to the Back-arc 30 years later equipped with the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s new underwater vehicle SuBastian, scientists can now fill gaps in our understanding about the biogeography of these unique ecosystems and to identify possible new species thriving in this extreme deep-ocean environment.    Volcanic Zones - Mariana Region The Mariana

(Photo: SULIS Aquatic Technologies)

Atlantic Canada Profiles: SULIS

.   With 12X optical zoom, full manual controls, an ultra-wide angle field of view and pristine corner to corner 4K resolution, the Z70 is what the world’s leading scientists and filmmakers have been dreaming of; in fact, they even helped build it. Through a collaboration with the Schmidt Ocean Institute, SULIS has had direct feedback every step the way from SOI’s top engineers and scientists.   Chosen as SOI’s main science cam for its own engineering marvel, SuBastian, a new purpose-built state of the art science ROV, the Z70 will soon be producing the most publicly available

(Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Scientists Find Life at Unexplored Ocean Depths

and samples collected during this expedition to advance research on how life thrives on these extreme deep-sea hydrothermal vents. This research was supported by the NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research Program, the NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office, the National Geographic Society and the Schmidt Ocean Institute.  

Photo: MacArtney

New Docking Head for Schmidt’s ROV SuBastian

Schmidt Ocean Institute has chosen a MacArtney docking head to ensure optimum handling of its remotely operated vehicle (ROV) SuBastian on board the R/V Falkor.   The R/V Falkor is now studying the sea surface microlayer and air-sea boundary making its way from Darwin, Australia to Guam. Once in Guam, Falkor will embark on its first science cruise with ROV SuBastian, searching for life in the Mariana Backarc. ROV SuBastian is a new underwater robotic vehicle equipped with a modular frame to provide scientists with a flexible vehicle for ocean exploration.    The MacArtney MERMAC D

(Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

MTR100: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Advanced operational, informational and technical support is essential to the success of ocean science. Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) was established as a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit operating foundation in 2009 to raise the standards of critical seagoing research infrastructure and provide more ocean access to scientists and engineers. SOI seeks to work with the best innovators to accelerate the pace of ocean science aboard its global research platform, R/V Falkor. SOI’s research expeditions return unprecedented amounts of open-access data, which it openly shares with the public. SOI has

SuBastian on a test dive at Santa Rosa Reef, Guam (Photo Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Schmidt Tests its New ROV in Guam

The new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) SuBastian is returning to shore after nearly a month of rigorous testing in the open ocean off the island of Guam in the western Pacific. Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) has been working this summer, testing and integrating its new ROV from aboard its 272 foot oceanographic research vessel Falkor.   The 25-day testing placed ROV SuBastian in real-world conditions, demonstrating its functionality as a modern research tool with innovative systems. The ROV tests and trials included 22 dives and more than 100 hours underwater. Now that the vehicle has been

Equipped with Sonardyne acoustic and inertial navigation technology, SuBastian will provide scientists from around the world with new opportunities to explore and study the ocean. (Photo: SOI)

Schmidt Selects Sonardyne Navigation for SuBastian

The international science community’s newest ocean research platform, a deep-rated remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called SuBastian, will be positioned and navigated using acoustic and inertial technologies supplied by Sonardyne Inc., based in Houston.    Built by the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), a private nonprofit operating foundation located in California, SuBastian will provide scientists from around the world with new opportunities to explore and study the ocean. Capable of diving to 4,500 meters, the vehicle has been equipped with a state-of-the-art equipment package

The ROV ROPOS team and Falkor crew discuss the plan of the day at Niua South (Credit: SOI/ Bjoern Kurtenbach)

Virtual Reality Reveals Underwater Vents

Scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor have developed the first 3D model of an entire hydrothermal vent field for Virtual Reality, covering the largest area of seafloor ever imaged that way.   After 13 days at sea, chief scientist Dr. Tom Kwasnitschka from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, along with other members of the team, will depart research vessel Falkor making history. Over 48 hours of underwater robotic diving with ROV ROPOS allowed the science team to study a rarely visited hydrothermal vent field at the Niua volcano in the Northern Lau

Jason LaShelle (Photo: Greensea Systems, Inc.)

Greensea Names LaShelle Production Manager

; At Greensea, LaShelle’s disciplined approach will add new dimensions to the organization’s productivity. He is building systems and procedures for manufacturing to enable Greensea to scale as a company. In addition, LaShelle is managing large, complex projects for Greensea clients Schmidt Ocean Institute and Vulcan.   “Greensea is growing and expanding into several new markets,” said Marybeth Gilliam, Greensea’s Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President. “In 2016, we will deliver integrated navigation and control systems for manned, unmanned, surface and subsea

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