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9 January 2019

Costa Rican Deep Sea Connections: Familiar and Unknown

Just a few hours journey from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the continental shelf ends. The Costa Rican shelf meets the continental slope, which is a drastically steep drop-off, suddenly going from relatively shallow water to an average of about 3500 meters of depth.

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25 December 2018

New Approaches to Autonomous Exploration at the Costa Rican Shelf Break: Wrap Up Video

“We are building technologies that allow us to do more with less. And if you think about the history of oceanography would have been unthinkable even 30 years ago. By pushing forward on the technology we are able to greatly expand our ability to observe our world.”

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22 December 2018

The Crawl Before the Walk

The series of processes that take place in the development of any given task, no matter how mundane, are astonishing.

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20 December 2018

Advancing Autonomy at the Costa Rican Shelf Break — Week 1 Video

Researchers are off the coast of Costa Rica, testing robots by integrating sensors, software, and mechanics to create underwater vehicles that can travel through unknown and potentially hazardous subsea regions. These types of vehicles, once able to make decisions without input from humans, will help us understand the oceans of Earth, as well as other planets.

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29 November 2018

Interdisciplinary Investigation of a New Hydrothermal Vent Field: It’s a wrap — Discoveries and new questions

Drawn to the mysteries of the Auka hydrothermal vent field, our interdisciplinary team of scientists arrived eager to explore a diverse and vibrant ecosystem thriving in an extreme environment of unique geochemistry. We were not disappointed.

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28 November 2018

Interdisciplinary Investigation of a New Hydrothermal Vent Field: First impressions and old friends

First impressions do not always turn out to be right, but they stick with you. I remember my first impression of the Auka vent field when, using the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) submersible Doc Ricketts, we discovered this hydrothermal field on April 12, 2015.

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27 November 2018

Interdisciplinary Investigation of a New Hydrothermal Vent Field: Wrap Up Video

The expedition wraps up with several notable successes and discoveries. Hear the researchers describe the highlights in their own words and check out some of the stunning biological and geological discoveries driven forward by advances in technology on this research cruise.

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26 November 2018

Sources of power for the future

…as a little kid I dreamed of becoming an astronomer. The call always felt like the mesmerizing song of a mermaid. Little did I know that my path would take me so far – and yet so close – to my childhood dreams.

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25 November 2018

Seafloor mapping and underwater vehicle localization

We have accurate maps of the moon, mars, and other planets – but we hardly know the layout beneath our own oceans. Creating maps of the seafloor allows us to understand better our planet and the life that inhabits these unexplored places.

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16 October 2018

Backyard Deep — Week One Video

Hundreds of meters below the surface of the ocean, where sunlight does not reach, researchers are finding communities as biologically dense as rainforests. Find out about the tools scientists are using to discover and learn about the methane seeps just off the coast of California.

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14 August 2018

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

More than 100 oceanic floats are now diving and drifting in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica during the peak of winter. These instruments are gathering data from a place and season that remains very poorly studied, despite its important role in regulating the global climate.

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13 August 2018

Adaptive robotics at Barkley Canyon and Hydrate Ridge: Ask us anything!

A few days ago we invited anyone who was interested to ask Principal Investigator Dr Blair Thornton (University of Southampton) and the international engineering team on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor questions about underwater robotics and our current expedition.

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Adaptive Robotics at Barkley Canyon and Hydrate Ridge: Five Senses

Marcel Proust’s quote “Not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” resonates with the work of the Adaptive Robotics team. The experts aim to advance the way in which humanity is able to observe the oceans, and push the experience further, tapping into the potential of all five senses.

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7 August 2018

Never Settle: Phase 01 Complete

“Most people are familiar with the fact that there are robots in the ocean doing things,” says Dr. Blair Thornton, Chief Scientist. “But many people think that if we have the robots, then the challenge of studying the ocean is solved…”

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6 August 2018

Adaptive Robotics at Barkley Canyon and Hydrate Ridge: Launching

What we are trying to achieve on this expedition is to build multiresolution maps of the seafloor, where the resolution of the maps gets higher and higher the more interesting a particular region of the seafloor is.

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