Science & Technology

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is the only U.S. federal vessel dedicated to exploring our largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. In close collaboration with government agencies, academic institutions, and other partners, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research conducts deep-ocean expeditions using advanced technologies on the Okeanos Explorer. From mapping and characterizing previously unseen seafloor to collecting and disseminating information about ocean depths, this work helps to establish a foundation of information and to fill data gaps needed to identify, understand, and manage key elements of the ocean environment.

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Technology Development and Partnerships

The technologies of today and those that are newly emerging for tomorrow are allowing us to explore the ocean in increasingly more effective, scientific, and noninvasive ways. The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) promotes the innovative use of existing technologies while investing in new technologies and state-of-the-art platforms and vehicles. We work both internally and externally, supporting technology activities in partnership with government agencies, academia, and the private sector. Visit this page to learn more about technology activities that OER is supporting to enhance our ability to explore the ocean – to identify, understand, and manage ocean resources now and for future generations.

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Exploration Tools

Advancements in technology allow us to explore the ocean in increasingly systematic, scientific, and noninvasive ways. This allows us to expand our understanding of both the ocean and marine organisms. Visit this page to learn more about some of the technology used for deep-ocean exploration, including platforms such as vessels and submersibles, observing systems and sensors, and communication tools. Despite the many advances so far, there is still much to learn and explore.

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History of Ocean Exploration

These pages offer a comprehensive look at NOAA's history of ocean exploration through a series of chronological essays. Also included is a rich selection of historical quotations, arranged thematically, that capture the many advances, challenges, and misunderstandings through the years as both early and modern explorers struggled to study the mysterious ocean realm.

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