Autonomous Underwater Explorers Described in the Journal Nature Communications

Today results from our first field deployment with a swarm of Autonomous Underwater Explorers (M-AUEs) were published in the journal Nature Communications. The article describes the deployment of 16 M-AUEs several kilometers off the coast of Torrey Pines State Park. Along with the M-AUEs, a surface array of acoustic pingers was deployed in a pentagon formation and used to track the M-AUEs underwater in three dimensions. The resulting tracks were used to visualize internal waves propagating through the swarm. The article: A Swarm of Autonomous Miniature Underwater Robot Drifters for Exploring Submesoscale Ocean Dynamics was authored by Jules S. Jaffe, Peter J. S. Franks, Paul L. D. Roberts, Diba Mirza, Curt Schurgers, Ryan Kastner and Adrien Boch.

We would like to thank Rich Walsh who provided small boat support during the development of the M-AUEs and the operations performed during these experiments, Devin Ratelle, Eric Orenstein, Phil  Bresnahan, Mike Ouimet, and Mike Bianco for assisting in the deployment and recovery during the experiment, and the maintainers of the OAR/Keck Pool at SIO for facilitating countless hours of pool testing leading up to the field work.

Below are videos and articles covering the work.

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New Benthic Underwater Microscope Described in the Journal Nature Communications

Today results from our work on the Benthic Underwater Microscope (BUM) were published in Nature Communications. The article Underwater microscopy for in situ studies of benthic ecosystems reports on the development of the BUM and its application to studying several important benthic processes in situ. The paper was authored by Jaffe Lab members Andrew D. Mullen, Tali Treibitz, Paul L.D. Roberts, and Jules Jaffe; as well as coral ecologists Emily L.A. Kelly, Rael Horwitz, and Jennifer E. Smith.

We would like to thank Dr. Amatzia Genin who provided support and critical guidance during the studies of coral polyp behavior, which were filmed at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, Israel. We also thank the Keck Foundation for their support funding the instrument development. Additionally we thank the National Science Foundation, Link Foundation, and Binational Science Foundation for supporting Andrew Mullen’s research.

Below are several videos and articles covering the work.

New York Times:


UCSD interview with Andrew Mullen:


Interview with Jules Jaffe

Nature Video:


NSF Science 360 Video:

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