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Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle


Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

The objective of this research is to develop an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) based capability to observe and sample dynamic processes in the ocean to characterize oil spills and other environmental hazards under ice. Creating a baseline of data for Arctic Ocean communities can systematically be carried out with the Long Range AUV, Tethys.

LRAUV Project Banner Image


The increasing level of commercial marine activity in high latitudes creates an ever-growing risk of oil spills. Even in logistically accessible, ice-free oceans, characterizing the extent and nature of a spill can be difficult, as the Deepwater Horizon incident highlighted. Currently, an autonomous underwater vehicle capable of under-ice oil detection, that is portable, has long-range endurance, and possesses variable speed capability is not available.


LRAUV images provided from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.


LRAUV has been spearheaded by the efforts of WHOI and those working with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Portrait of James Bellingham

Principal Investigator

Dr. James Bellingham

Ph.D. Physics Director of the Center For Marine Robotics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Portrait of Amy Kukulya

Principal Investigator

Amy Kukulya

Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Senior AUV Operations Engineer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Co-Principal Investigator

Brett Hobson

Mechanical Engineer Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, California

Supporting Investigator

Amanda Besaw

LTC (Ret.) Army Ph.D. Computer Science Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Alaska Anchorage