Sentry AUV - New Capabilities -
Over the last 15 years Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have migrated finicky experiments to a mature capability providing routine operational support to deep sea scientists. Moreover, the boundaries of science that can be conducted with AUVs are advancing rapidly and in unexpected directions. The AUV Sentry entered the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF) in 2010 and has completed more than 275 dives in support of Ocean Science. Sentry operates up to 190 days per year and is a “fly-away” system that can be shipped to a vessel of opportunity anywhere in the world by land, sea, or air freight. Sentry has a unique design emphasizing maneuverability, steep terrain and extreme mission flexibility. It carries a wide range of standard sensors including a Multibeam Echo Sounder, a Sidescan Sonar, a Sub Bottom Profiler, a high resolution color camera and a variety of water chemistry sensors. A substantial number of custom sensors have been added and recently even sampling has been performed. Payload re-configuration between cruises and even between dives is routine and tens of new capabilities are added every year.
Carl Kaiser is the AUV operations manager for the National Deep Submergence Facility and a Research Engineer in the Deep Submergence Lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He received his BS, MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University with a specialty in Robotics. Following graduate school, he worked for Agilent Technologies setting up manufacturing and supply chains in Southeast Asia. He came to Woods Hole in 2010 in order to return to a more research focused career and took over management of the Sentry AUV in 2011 with the express mission of converting a developmental vehicle into a routinely operational vehicle which is still flexible enough to undertake novel missions nearly half the time. His research interests include human robot interaction, adaptive survey techniques, underwater sensing, and AUV technology in general. When not at work or at sea, he is an avid diver, hiker, and tinkerer.