We aim to develop technologies that expand capabilities for remote observation and exploration of the ocean through advancements in power and communications systems for underwater vehicles and instrumentation.

The creation of capabilities for persistent and autonomous monitoring and exploration of the ocean depends on advances in vehicles and autonomy, reliability, and power systems. This group focuses on providing power infrastructure for underwater vehicles and instrumentation. The focus is on developing novel energy harvesting techniques for energy present in the ocean environment (wave energy, tidal energy, etc). In particular this group aims to demonstrate capabilities not yet shown to be effective and reliable, but that have the potential to provide a dramatic increase in the energy available to remote oceanographic instrumentation.

An AUV approaches the Wave Power Buoy

Although primarily a technology development and demonstration group, whenever possible these projects aim to include scientific use of the energy captured from the environment. This is straightforward for buoy-based instrumentation and requires docking capabilities for re-charging underwater vehicles, so AUV docking and power/data transfer in the dock is also a primary interest of this group, in conjunction with the dedicated AUV teams at MBARI.

This group is also working to transfer technology developed at MBARI to outside groups whenever possible through external collaborators with national labs, other researcher groups, and industry.



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Gwiazda, R., C.K. Paull, B. Kieft, D. Klimov, R. Herlien, E. Lundsten, M. McCann, M.J. Cartigny, A. Hamilton, J. Xu, K.L. Maier, D.R. Parsons, and P.J. Talling. 2022. Near-bed structure of sediment gravity flows measured by motion-sensing “boulder-like” Benthic Event Detectors (BEDs) in Monterey Canyon. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 127: 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JF006437

Choy, C. A., B.H. Robison, T.O. Gagne, B.E. Erwin, E. Firl, R.U. Halden, J.A. Hamilton, K. Katija, S.E. Lisin, C. Rolsky, and K.S. Van Houtan. 2019. The vertical distribution and biological transport of marine microplastics across the epipelagic and mesopelagic water column. Scientific Reports, 9(7843): 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44117-2

Stanway, M.J., B. Kieft, T. Hoover, B. Hobson, A. Hamilton, and J.G. Bellingham. 2014. Acoustic tracking and homing with a long-range AUV. Proceedings of Marine Technology Society/Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Oceans 2014, St. John's, CAN, 14–19 September 2014: 1–7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/OCEANS.2014.7003277

Bellingham, J.G., Y. Zhang, J.E. Kerwin, J. Erikson, B. Hobson, B. Kieft, M. Godin, R. McEwen, T. Hoover, J. Paul, A. Hamilton, J. Franklin, and A. Banka. 2010. Efficient propulsion for the Tethys long-range autonomous underwater vehicle. Proceedings of the Oceanic Engineering Society / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Conference, Monterey, California, 1–3 September 2010.

Bird, L.E., D. Graves, E. Massion, M. Chaffey, A. Hamilton, and R. Keaten. 2006. Establishing a benthic cabled observatory with ROV based cable deployment. Proceedings of the Marine Technology Society / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Oceans Conference.


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