Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle


The upper-water-column autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is designed to rapidly acquire multiple large-volume seawater samples at distinct locations throughout the upper water column with “gulper” water samplers. Each gulper contains two liters of volume. When ballasting operations are conducted, the gulpers are full of seawater. Therefore, the AUV will not be able to dive if the gulpers are full of air. They need to be in the “cocked” position before launch, so the upper chambers can fill with seawater when the AUV is launched.

After the mission, these water samples are analyzed either onboard the mother ship or back at the laboratory. An ongoing software effort is developing the capability to trigger the gulpers based on the measurements of other on-board instruments.

Biological Oceanography Group

One of the longest-standing projects of the Biological Oceanography Group is the Monterey Bay Time Series. Research ships and moorings have collected detailed datasets of temperature, salinity, oxygen, CO2, phytoplankton and other changing variables since 1989.


John Ryan

Senior Research Specialist


Solving challenges
Taking the laboratory into the ocean
In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer
Midwater Respirometer System
Mobile flow cytometer
Enabling targeted sampling
Automated Video Event Detection
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Advancing a persistent presence
Aerostat hotspot
Benthic Event Detectors
Benthic rover
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
Marine “soundscape” for passive acoustic monitoring
Monterey Ocean-Bottom Broadband Seismometer
Shark Café camera
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
Emerging and current tools
Aerostat hotspot
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
Wet WiFi
Data management
Oceanographic Decision Support System
Spatial Temporal Oceanographic Query System (STOQS) Data
Video Annotation and Reference System
Apex profiling floats
Benthic Event Detectors
Deep particle image velocimetry
Environmental Sample Processor (ESP)
How the ESP Works
Genomic sensors
ESP Web Portal
The ESP in the news
Investigations of imaging for midwater autonomous platforms
Lagrangian sediment traps
Laser Raman Spectroscopy
Midwater Respirometer System
Mobile flow cytometer
Smart underwater connector
OGC PUCK Reference Design Kit
Promoters and manufacturers
Manufacturer ID
Wave-Power Buoy
Vehicle technology
Benthic Rover
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Imaging autonomous underwater vehicle
In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer
Seafloor mapping AUV
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
Mini remotely operated vehicle
ROV Doc Ricketts
ROV Ventana
Automated Video Event Detection
Machine learning
SeeStar Imaging System
Shark Café camera
Video Annotation and Reference System
Engineering Research
Bioinspiration Lab
Bringing the laboratory to the ocean
Bringing the ocean to the laboratory
Bio-inspired ocean exploration technologies
Seafloor mapping
Ocean imaging
MB-System seafloor mapping software
Seafloor mapping AUV
Technology transfer
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Brewer, P.G., Peltzer, E.T., Lage, K., (2022). Life at low Reynolds number Re-visited: The efficiency of microbial propulsion. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 185: 1-5.
Smith, K.B., Leary, P., Deal, T. , Joseph, J., Ryan, J., Miller, C., Dawe, C., Cray, B., (2022). Acoustic vector sensor analysis of the Monterey Bay region soundscape and the impact of COVID-19. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151: 2507-2520.
Zhang, Y., Godin, M.A., Kieft, B., Raanan, B.-Y., Ryan, J.P., Hobson, B.W., (2022). Finding and tracking a phytoplankton patch by a long-range autonomous underwater vehicle. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 47: 322-330.