The MOD team develops, builds, and deploys novel scientific instrumentation to observe the ocean in new ways.

towed vehicles

We are always seeking to improve our ability to rapidly tow sensor-laden vehicles behind a ship, while cycling them up and down to get “swaths” of profiles as the research vessel steams along.  We have a suite of such vehicles for different oceanographic purposes. 


autonomous and moored profiling technology

In 1999, Rob Pinkel, Mike Goldin (MOD Principal Engineer), and then-student Luc Rainville built the first Wirewalker wave-powered profiler. The Wirewalker was designed to address the need for inexpensive, rapid profiling of a field-modifiable payload. 

Microstructure measurements

Traditionally, these measurements have been very expensive and time-consuming, motivating many attempts of estimating turbulence using more easily resolved quantities.  More recently, there is a push to develop cheaper, smaller, and lower-power means of measuring turbulence, of which we are hard at work


doppler sonars

The former Ocean Physics Group led by Rob Pinkel, which has now grown into MOD, has long led the development of Doppler sonars, which measure the velocity of ocean flows by the phase shift of sound back-scattered from material within it.

NEXT-generation sensors

We believe that by constant tinkering, labs like ours will stumble upon new and novel means of sensing.  A partly-successful example was a refractometer we built some time ago, which sensed index of refraction on 1-mm scales