Schmidt Ocean Institute is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit operating foundation established to advance oceanographic research, discovery, and knowledge, and catalyze sharing of information about the oceans. 

ROV SuBastian Completes Sea Trials

July, 2015

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) SuBastian completes a month of rigorous tests in the open ocean off the island of Guam in the western Pacific. Schmidt Ocean Institute worked through the summer, testing and integrating the new ROV with research vessel Falkor.

falkor-subastian-seatrials-20160720-5173

ROV SuBastian Tank Testing at MBARI

April, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s 4,500m Remotely Operated Vehicle SuBastian undergoes Tank Testing at MBARI

ROV SuBastian tank testing in MBARI

SOI Selected As Top Innovator

July/ August, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute is selected as the Editor’s Choice top Five Stand-Outs in the Marine Technology Reporter’s annual Top 100 innovators in the maritime industry.

marine-tech-image

SOI Holds Their Second Research Planning Workshop

August, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute holds its second Research Planning Workshop “Transforming Seagoing Science with Robotic Platforms, Innovative Software Engineering, and Data Analytics”.

Falkor’s First Seismic Profiling Cruise

June, 2015

Falkor conducts her first seismic profiling cruise in Indonesia, acquiring 17,597 square kilometers of high-resolution maps of the Mentawai Gap off the west coast of Sumatra. These maps allow scientists to better model potential tsunami impacts produced by an expected underwater earthquake in this region.

Summary video:

In the News

The Jakarta Post

Padang Ekspres Digital Media

ROV Dives at Scott Reef

May, 2015

A cruise aboard Falkor collects high resolution data on the physical and biological dynamics of Scott Reef in the Timor Sea using Falkor’s 300 meters depth remotely operated vehicle. All 16 of the dives totaling 77 hours are broadcast live from the ship to Schmidt Ocean Institute’s YouTube channel.

Highlights video:

In the News

Business Scoop

Development of New Robot Tracking Tool

April, 2015

A new visualization tool for tracking multiple vehicles is developed aboard Falkor by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) so anyone can view robotic deployments in real time from a smartphone. Collected images using the robots are uploaded to a citizen science photo tagging project, where over 22,569 reef images are tagged by the public.  

Coordinated Robotics Cruise

April, 2015

Eight underwater and surface robotic vehicles are deployed simultaneously off of Falkor as part of the first coordinated robotics in the Timor Sea of the northwest corner of Australia. This cruise allows engineers from the Australian School of Field Robotics to build towards leaving groups of robotic vehicles unattended to accomplish tasks such as seafloor mapping.

seafloor

In the News

Popular Mechanics

Machine Design

First Ever ROV Survey of Perth Canyon

March, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute hosts aboard Falkor the first remotely operated vehicle survey of Perth Canyon off Perth, Australia to conduct baseline studies of deep corals. New coral species are discovered and many organisms are observed in Western Australian waters for the first time. 

In the News

NBC News

Discovery News

Live Science

Installation of First High-Performance Computer on a Research Vessel

January, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute installs the first high-performance cloud computing system on an oceanographic research vessel that will enable data storage and processing capabilities not previously available to scientists at sea.

high-performance-computing

Discovery of World’s Deepest Fish

November, 2014

Scientists on Falkor discover the world’s deepest known fish, among several other new species in the Mariana Trench, using Schmidt Ocean Institute’s full ocean depth free-falling landers.

Video of the new fish:

In the News

BBC News

Las Angeles Times

Washington Post

First Research Planning Workshop

August, 2014

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s first Research Planning Workshop Critical Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Shipboard Oceanography in the Next 3-5 Years” is held in Hawaii.

Falkor’s Maps One of the World's Largest Marine Protected Areas

March-June, 2014

Falkor maps 127,000 square kilometers of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, about 35% of one of the world’s largest marine protected areas. These bathymetric maps are later used for remotely operated vehicle dives where several new fish and invertebrate species are found.

fish

First Student Cruise

February-June, 2014

A student cruise program is launched with Schmidt Ocean Institute hosting three student-led cruises in collaboration with the University of Hawaii aboard the Falkor

student

In the News

Hawaii News Now Article

University of Hawaii Article

First Research Symposium

November 1-2, 2013

Schmidt Ocean Institute holds its first Research Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

research-symposium

Falkor’s First Visit to San Francisco

July 28, 2013

Falkor arrives in the Port of San Francisco, calling on the interactive learning laboratory museum Exploratorium.

san-francisco

HROV Nereus is Used on Falkor

June, 2013

For the first time, hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, is deployed in support of an oceanographic research project – exploring hydrothermal vent fields at the Mid-Cayman Rise. All dive videos are live streamed and recorded in perpetuity on YouTube.

In the News

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Article

First Maps of Campeche Escarpment

March, 2013

For the first time, over 20,000 square kilometers of the largest geological feature in the Gulf of Mexico, Campeche Escarpment, are mapped with Falkor.

map

First Year of Scientific Operations

2013

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s first full year of committed scientific operations, Falkor transits over 11,000 nautical miles throughout the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.

Shipwreck Discovery

July 11, 2012

The crew on Falkor discovers the S.S. Terra Nova, an acclaimed polar exploration ship that sank off the southern coast of Greenland in September 1943.

Underwater video footage of the discovery:

In the News

ABC News

BBC News

Science Verification Cruises

April-December, 2012

Extensive sea trials and science verification cruises conducted on Falkor to test and calibrate embedded systems and scientific equipment.  Trials and cruises took place across the Atlantic Ocean from Germany to Norway, across the Atlantic Ocean, down the east coast of the United States and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Falkor at Sea

Falkor is Named

March 6, 2012

Falkor officially receives her new name in a re-naming ceremony at the Peters Schiffbau Shipyard in Wewelsfleth, Germany.

Remarks on renaming by Eric Schmidt:

Remarks on renaming by Wendy Schmidt:

Lone Ranger

2010 – 2012

Schmidt Ocean Institute operates the ocean-going vessel Lone Ranger in support of oceanographic research in the Atlantic Ocean and in the waters of Bermuda and Bahamas. 

Lone Ranger at the dock in Freeport, Bahamas on July 20, 2011.
Lone Ranger at the dock in Freeport, Bahamas on July 20, 2011.Victor Zykov

Falkor Refit

2009 – 2012

Schmidt Ocean Institute purchases a German fisheries protection vessel, and undergoes an extensive refit to convert the ship to a state-of-the-art oceanographic research vessel, now known as Falkor.

german-fisheries-vessel

In the News

World Maritime News Article

Nature Article

SOI Begins

2009

Founders Eric and Wendy Schmidt establish Schmidt Ocean Institute as a 501 (c)(3) private non-profit operating foundation.

eric-wendy-schmidt-boat-naming

In the News

UK Daily Mail Article

NY Times Article

SOI Selected As Top Innovator

July/ August, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute is selected as the Editor’s Choice top Five Stand-Outs in the Marine Technology Reporter’s annual Top 100 innovators in the maritime industry.

marine-tech-image

SOI Holds Their Second Research Planning Workshop

August, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute holds its second Research Planning Workshop “Transforming Seagoing Science with Robotic Platforms, Innovative Software Engineering, and Data Analytics”.

Falkor’s First Seismic Profiling Cruise

June, 2015

Falkor conducts her first seismic profiling cruise in Indonesia, acquiring 17,597 square kilometers of high-resolution maps of the Mentawai Gap off the west coast of Sumatra. These maps allow scientists to better model potential tsunami impacts produced by an expected underwater earthquake in this region.

Summary video:

In the News

The Jakarta Post

Padang Ekspres Digital Media

ROV Dives at Scott Reef

May, 2015

A cruise aboard Falkor collects high resolution data on the physical and biological dynamics of Scott Reef in the Timor Sea using Falkor’s 300 meters depth remotely operated vehicle. All 16 of the dives totaling 77 hours are broadcast live from the ship to Schmidt Ocean Institute’s YouTube channel.

Highlights video:

In the News

Business Scoop

Development of New Robot Tracking Tool

April, 2015

A new visualization tool for tracking multiple vehicles is developed aboard Falkor by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) so anyone can view robotic deployments in real time from a smartphone. Collected images using the robots are uploaded to a citizen science photo tagging project, where over 22,569 reef images are tagged by the public.  

Coordinated Robotics Cruise

April, 2015

Eight underwater and surface robotic vehicles are deployed simultaneously off of Falkor as part of the first coordinated robotics in the Timor Sea of the northwest corner of Australia. This cruise allows engineers from the Australian School of Field Robotics to build towards leaving groups of robotic vehicles unattended to accomplish tasks such as seafloor mapping.

seafloor

In the News

Popular Mechanics

Machine Design

First Ever ROV Survey of Perth Canyon

March, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute hosts aboard Falkor the first remotely operated vehicle survey of Perth Canyon off Perth, Australia to conduct baseline studies of deep corals. New coral species are discovered and many organisms are observed in Western Australian waters for the first time. 

In the News

NBC News

Discovery News

Live Science

Installation of First High-Performance Computer on a Research Vessel

January, 2015

Schmidt Ocean Institute installs the first high-performance cloud computing system on an oceanographic research vessel that will enable data storage and processing capabilities not previously available to scientists at sea.

high-performance-computing

Discovery of World’s Deepest Fish

November, 2014

Scientists on Falkor discover the world’s deepest known fish, among several other new species in the Mariana Trench, using Schmidt Ocean Institute’s full ocean depth free-falling landers.

Video of the new fish:

In the News

BBC News

Las Angeles Times

Washington Post

First Research Planning Workshop

August, 2014

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s first Research Planning Workshop Critical Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Shipboard Oceanography in the Next 3-5 Years” is held in Hawaii.

Falkor’s Maps One of the World's Largest Marine Protected Areas

March-June, 2014

Falkor maps 127,000 square kilometers of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, about 35% of one of the world’s largest marine protected areas. These bathymetric maps are later used for remotely operated vehicle dives where several new fish and invertebrate species are found.

fish

First Student Cruise

February-June, 2014

A student cruise program is launched with Schmidt Ocean Institute hosting three student-led cruises in collaboration with the University of Hawaii aboard the Falkor

student

In the News

Hawaii News Now Article

University of Hawaii Article

First Research Symposium

November 1-2, 2013

Schmidt Ocean Institute holds its first Research Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

research-symposium

Falkor’s First Visit to San Francisco

July 28, 2013

Falkor arrives in the Port of San Francisco, calling on the interactive learning laboratory museum Exploratorium.

san-francisco

HROV Nereus is Used on Falkor

June, 2013

For the first time, hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, is deployed in support of an oceanographic research project – exploring hydrothermal vent fields at the Mid-Cayman Rise. All dive videos are live streamed and recorded in perpetuity on YouTube.

In the News

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Article

First Maps of Campeche Escarpment

March, 2013

For the first time, over 20,000 square kilometers of the largest geological feature in the Gulf of Mexico, Campeche Escarpment, are mapped with Falkor.

map

First Year of Scientific Operations

2013

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s first full year of committed scientific operations, Falkor transits over 11,000 nautical miles throughout the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.

Shipwreck Discovery

July 11, 2012

The crew on Falkor discovers the S.S. Terra Nova, an acclaimed polar exploration ship that sank off the southern coast of Greenland in September 1943.

Underwater video footage of the discovery:

In the News

ABC News

BBC News

Science Verification Cruises

April-December, 2012

Extensive sea trials and science verification cruises conducted on Falkor to test and calibrate embedded systems and scientific equipment.  Trials and cruises took place across the Atlantic Ocean from Germany to Norway, across the Atlantic Ocean, down the east coast of the United States and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Falkor at Sea

Falkor is Named

March 6, 2012

Falkor officially receives her new name in a re-naming ceremony at the Peters Schiffbau Shipyard in Wewelsfleth, Germany.

Remarks on renaming by Eric Schmidt:

Remarks on renaming by Wendy Schmidt:

Lone Ranger

2010 – 2012

Schmidt Ocean Institute operates the ocean-going vessel Lone Ranger in support of oceanographic research in the Atlantic Ocean and in the waters of Bermuda and Bahamas. 

Lone Ranger at the dock in Freeport, Bahamas on July 20, 2011.
Lone Ranger at the dock in Freeport, Bahamas on July 20, 2011.Victor Zykov

Falkor Refit

2009 – 2012

Schmidt Ocean Institute purchases a German fisheries protection vessel, and undergoes an extensive refit to convert the ship to a state-of-the-art oceanographic research vessel, now known as Falkor.

german-fisheries-vessel

In the News

World Maritime News Article

Nature Article

SOI Begins

2009

Founders Eric and Wendy Schmidt establish Schmidt Ocean Institute as a 501 (c)(3) private non-profit operating foundation.

eric-wendy-schmidt-boat-naming

In the News

UK Daily Mail Article

NY Times Article