Sentry is a new, state-of-the-art underwater robot that can operate independently of the ship. It will be used on this mapping cruise to conduct highly detailed bathymetric maps of the sites for RSN nodes 1 and 3. This cruise is the first formal deployment of Sentry on a working oceanographic research cruise.

An Underwater Robot

Sentry is an autonomous underwater vehicle, an underwater robot that swims freely beneath the surface without being tethered to a ship. Equipped with a sophisticated RESON sonar system, Sentry can collect the data needed to make seafloor maps at 1-centimeter resolution, which is incredibly detailed for such maps.

Surveying Node Sites

Sentry will be preprogrammed to “fly” over the node sites along overlapping survey lines at a constant altitude above the seafloor. It runs on batteries and is propelled through the water using a series of thrusters that allow it to go up and over ridges, maneuver in any direction, and maintain its height above bottom even when pushed around by underwater currents

Sentry is operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is part of the National Deep Submergence Facility.