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Ocean Robotics & Underwater Communications

Underwater Optical Range and Time Estimation

The Underwater Optical Range and Time Estimation system integrates a custom, low-cost integrated solution to deliver accurate timestamps to deployed instruments and vehicles. Implementing high-angle optical communications enables a faster link acquisition time.

Underwater Optical Communications

These Underwater Optical Communications provide a reconfigurable, long-range, optical modem-based underwater communication network. In particular, the network provides low power, low cost, and easy to deploy underwater optical communication system capable of being operated at long distances.

Underwater Adaptive Time Base Estimation

The Adaptive Time Base Estimation method can reset the time base without the need for expensive and power-hungry clocks. As a result, the platform can achieve ground-truth positioning quieter and less costly.

Range Only Localization and Station-Keeping

This innovation is a software integration designed to enable AUVs to estimate the location of stationary seafloor beacons and perform adaptive behaviors using the location estimate. Implementation of the software algorithms would allow AUVs to localize and communicate more effectively in GPS-absent areas without additional equipment to make up for errors.


A lightweight, cost-effective, deep ocean AUV designed for use in the Hadal Zone and for simple replication at scale. Designed in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and equipped with cameras, Orpheus can travel to the deepest parts of the ocean.

Omnidirectional Optical Modem

The system provides for an improved underwater omni-directional communication network using optical transmitters and optical receivers. Using this communication system, multiple modems, underwater vehicles, seafloor observatories, and surface vessels can remain in constant communication which includes video or other high-rate data transfers.

Nereid HT Hybrid ROV

Nereid HT Hybrid ROV Inventors: Andrew Bowen Overview: Submersible vehicles use tethers to carry power and communicate, but these tethers can place a significant burden on vehicles as well as at-sea logistics, as undersea robotics reach greater depths. Removing dependence on traditional tethers and creating more versatile, lightweight hybrid ROVs/ AUVs reduces the on-board winch…

Multi-Carrier Underwater Acoustic Communications

The Multi-Carrier Underwater Acoustic Communication System uses a two-step approach to mitigate frequency-dependent Doppler drifts for zero-padded OFDM transmissions over fast-varying channels. The system is based on block-by-block processing and does not rely on channel dependence across OFDM blocks. Thus, the system is applicable for fast-varying UWA channels.

LRAUV Response System for Under Ice Oil Spill Mapping

LRAUV Response System for Under Ice Oil Spill Mapping Inventors: Amy Kukulya, Daniel Gomez-Ibanez Intellectual Property: Patent Pending   Overview: The Arctic has been established as the newest frontier for oil. However, limited accessibility inhibits effective responses to accurately map spilled oil at any given time. Most remote sensing techniques for oil detection in ice-covered…

Long Range Fiber Optic Data Communications

The system includes a cabled ocean observatory deployed underwater and connected to a surface buoy. The fiber optic extension modules can be permanently attached to each end of the fiber optic cables and include an optical transceiver, a power supply, and an inductive element for removably coupling an underwater sensor or the cabled ocean observatory to the fiber optic cable.

Doppler Shift Navigation

Swarm intelligence is a collective behavior composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralized control and self-organization – typically used in aircrafts and drones because of the access to GPS, high data rates, and low-cost hardware. Integration into underwater swarming intelligence has been stagnant due to limited access to GPS, Wi-Fi, expensive navigation, and low data rate communications. WHOI scientists and engineers developed a family of innovations to generate successful underwater swarming capabilities.

AUV SUPR Sampler

The system employs the highly adaptive REMUS vehicle to autonomously navigate a programmed trajectory through the water column and rapidly capture discrete samples of microorganisms and particles using a modifiable filtration mechanism.