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. NOAA Ocean Exploration 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.

Use the links below to learn more about technology activities that our office is supporting to enhance our ability to explore the ocean – to identify, understand, and manage ocean resources now and for future generations. Learn more about NOAA Ocean Exploration-supported ocean exploration expeditions here.


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2021 2020 2019 2018


Coordinated Simultaneous Physical-Biological Sampling Using ADCP-Equipped Ocean Gliders

August 27 - September 20, 2021: A team from the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab will carry out an expedition at the shelf break off the coast of Washington. The main goal of this expedition, funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Fiscal Year 2020 Federal Funding Opportunity for Ocean Exploration, is to collect data for developing new acoustics-based methodologies that will pave the way for persistent, distributed observation of organisms that occupy the middle levels of the ocean food web (mid-trophic organisms), such as zooplankton and small fish, using gliders.

From Aggregations to Individuals: Exploring Migrating Deep-Sea Scattering Layers Through Multiscale-Multimode Technologies in the Gulf of Mexico

July 26 - August 1, 2021: From July 26 to August 1, 2021, a multi-institutional science team will set sail aboard the R/V Point Sur from Gulfport, Mississippi and head towards DeSoto Canyon. The objectives of this mission, funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration, are to deploy two different autonomous sensor platforms developed as part of this project: National Geographic Society’s Driftcam and the Teledyne Webb Research Slocum glider.

2021 Technology Demonstration

May 14 - May 27, 2021: From May 14 - 27, 2021, NOAA Ocean Exploration will lead the 2021 Technology Demonstration on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Norfolk, Virginia. The expedition provides an opportunity to test several technologies that will allow the ocean exploration community to explore deeper, farther, and more comprehensively than previously possible.

Intra-NOAA Collaboration To Prepare For Future Deep-Ocean Exploration in Alaska

January 2021: NOAA Ocean Exploration and the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science partnered to create a publicly available spatial bibliography of Alaska deep waters in support of identifying exploration priorities in the region.


NOAA teams with Schmidt Ocean Institute to boost public understanding of the ocean

June 2020: NOAA announced it will formalize and expand its longstanding partnership with Schmidt Ocean Institute to explore, characterize and map the deep ocean and boost public understanding of the global ocean.

Innovative Technology and Partnership Leads to New EEZ Mapping

Fall 2019: In the fall of 2019, capitalizing on existing hydrographic survey contract mechanisms through NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, NOAA Ocean Exploration and the National Oceanographic Partnership Program funded the geodata specialist company Fugro to conduct a survey in the Blake Plateau region off the coasts of Georgia and Florida.


From Aggregations to Individuals: Exploring Migrating Deep-sea Scattering Layers Through Multiscale-multimode Technologies in the Gulf of Mexico

July-August 2018: A multi-institutional science team will perform test deployments of two autonomous sampling platforms, the Driftcam and Slocum glider, in waters of the West Florida Shelf. These technologies may permit access to the deepwater habitats and allow the study of organisms that comprise scattering layers in the Gulf of Mexico without the need to interfere or capture the animals.

2019 Technology Demonstration

July-August 2018: NOAA and partners will conduct a telepresence-enabled ocean exploration technology expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to demonstrate, test, and evaluate five emerging and existing technologies for possible integration into NOAA operations.


Mapping and Assessing Rhode Island’s Historic Submarines Using Synthetic Aperture Sonar

August 2018: A team from NOAA Ocean Exploration, Kraken Robotics Inc., and the University of Rhode Island Applied History Lab started a project to image, for the first time, all four of Rhode Island’s sunken historic submarines using a new Synthetic Aperture Sonar system.