LCSR Special Seminar: Carl Kaiser, PhD – Adaptive Deep Sea Science Missions with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle and Acoustic Communications

May 8, 2017 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
B-17 Hackerman Hall

Adaptive Deep Sea Science Missions with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle and Acoustic Communications

Carl Kaiser, PhD
AUV Program Manager
National Deep Submergence Facility
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution



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 420 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.
Increasingly acoustic communications are being used to interact with AUVs mid-mission for monitoring or mission intervention. However, these capabilities are still new and we have only scratched the surface of what is possible.
This talk will begin with a presentation of the AUV Sentry and typical science missions. It will then discuss the present state of the art in acoustic interaction and will conclude with a look at possible future directions for these technologies.


Dr. Carl Kaiser has a Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics from Colorado State University. Following graduate school, he made a brief foray into the corporate world of Southeast Asian manufacturing and supply chains before returning to academia. He has been at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution since 2010 and is the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Program Manger for the National Deep Submergence Facility as well as a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution principle investigator focusing on novel applications of and technologies for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in the deep ocean. He has spent more than a year at sea with various deep Submergence vehicles and several additional months in the field with them in various ports or shallow water test facilities. ​

Laboratory for Computational Sensing + Robotics