Current projects


Past projects




MBARI ocean observing systems

Autonomous underwater vehicle program
Project Manager/Lead Engineer: Bill Kirkwood
Lead Scientist: Jim Bellingham

The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) program is a continuation of a multi-year effort at MBARI and includes collaborations with the external AUV community and industrial partners.

AUV efforts at MBARI include five main activities:

  • Completing the design and build of the Dorado vehicles, one will be an engineering test vehicle, the other will be for marine operations. These vehicles should be completed by mid 2002.
  • Engineering support to help identify and specify interface and other design considerations associated with the mooring riser and AUV docking capabilities
  • AUV docking
  • The Atlantic Layer Tracking EXperiment (ALTEX), a National Science Foundation program to trace the warm water intrusion under the Arctic Ice cap and to map that body of water. Most of the ALTEX work in 2002 will be associated with navigation system developments.
  • Provide assistance with integrating science instruments into the Dorado vehicles and running science missions (this work will be done under other proposals that are not under MBARI Ocean Observing Systems, but the expertise and involvement of the Dorado/AUV team will be critical in the early stages to ensure a successful transition to operations.