Miniature autonomous instrument for monitoring ocean currents, 2010s

M-AUE (Miniature Autonomous Underwater Explorer), with external shell exploded to reveal internal components, Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California San Diego, California, USA, 2013–2015

Mapping ocean currents is challenging, particularly on the so-called ‘submesoscale’ (up to 10km), where water movements are complex and nonlinear, and hard to observe using traditional large-scale oceanographic technology. The M-AUE system, comprising simple miniature instruments designed to operate in a swarm, is a solution to this issue, devised by the Jaffe Laboratory of Underwater Imaging, led by Jules Jaffe, at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

This instrument speaks to the miniaturisation trend within oceanographic instrumentation, driven by a longstanding preoccupation of oceanographers to increase the number and density of sites from which they can make observations. The Scripps researchers are amongst those who hope that making instruments which are less expensive and easier to deploy is a way in which coverage can be improved.


Object Number:
plastic (unidentified) syntactic foam, rubber (unidentified) and metal (unknown)
autonomous instrument
Jaffe Laboratory of Underwater Imaging, Scripps Oceanography, UC San Diego