Renato Caldas shot this footage of the MBARI "Gulper" AUV deployment. Renato is a visiting researcher from Porto University, Portugal working on AUV.
Oceanographic science is frequently hindered by a lack of spatial and temporal resolution for most parameters oceanographic science desires to measure. This paper discusses our effort to advance the current state of bathymetric mapping as part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) charter. MBARI scientists and engineers, in consultation with the external community, have produced a new multibeam mapping autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) system. The system is intended to reduce some of the impediments encountered by science trying to resolve specific portions of the oceans bottom. Starting with the established and in-house developed Dorado AUV technology, MBARI engineering refined the AUV into a full ocean depth capable and now operational multibeam mapping system (MBAUV). The MBAUV system conducts regular multibeam bathymetry, subbottom, and sidescan surveys for oceanographic science. MBAUV is a torpedo-shaped, 6000 m rated vehicle operating the aforementioned sonars simultaneously. The endurance of the MBAUV is approximately 8 h at 3 kn and is designed to support 16 h operations at 3 kn by adding an additional battery section.