Dedicated to exploration of our unknown ocean, Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus is owned and operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust . The 211-foot ship is equipped with the latest tools and technologies, allowing scientists on board and ashore to gather data about the physical and chemical oceanography, geology, biology, and archaeology of our deep ocean.
E/V Nautilus operates with a two-tiered approach to exploration. First, the team uses multibeam sonar and and sub-bottom profiler systems to map unknown areas of the seafloor. Based on evaluation of mapping data, scientists chose targets for further exploration and the Nautilus’ team of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs Hercules and Argus) are deployed for a closer look. Expeditions on Nautilus take place all over the world, in geographic regions about which little or nothing is known, but where there is high potential for discovery.
In addition to conducting scientific research at sea, explorers on shore are invited to participate in Nautilus expeditions via live video, audio, and data feeds transmitted via satellite from the ship to shore via telepresence technology. Telepresence removes the space constraints of being on a ship, allowing more scientists to be involved with the expedition. Additionally, telepresence technology allows expeditions to be streamed live on the Internet, bringing educators, students, and armchair explorers of all ages aboard during E/V Nautilus expeditions, offering them hands-on experience in ocean exploration and research discoveries .
E/V Nautilus was named by explorer and Ocean Exploration Trust founder, Dr. Robert Ballard, in reference to Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Recent Missions Supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research