What is the mission of the Valor in the Atlantic expedition?

This three-week expedition in and around the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) will use our Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Yogi to explore historic shipwrecks from the U.S. Civil War, World War I, and World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. NOAA is proposing to expand MNMS to protect and honor these nationally significant shipwrecks. Researchers will be looking at the biological communities on these shipwrecks to help answer questions about the ecological function in support of management of these ecosystems.

What is the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary?

The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary was the first National Marine Sanctuary designated in the United States, and protects the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. It is located 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

Courtesy of NOAA

When and how can I watch the dives?

There will be two separate Legs on this expedition:

Leg 1 will be May 12 – May 20.

Leg 2 will be May 22 – May 30.

You can watch the dives live on our homepage.

Who is the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration?

We are a team of engineers, filmmakers, and educators whose mission is to explore. We support underwater science and archaeology by creating the technologies that enable marine scientists and archaeologists to access the deep waters of the world. We are a nonprofit organization based in Connecticut.

How am I seeing video from the bottom of the ocean?

You are able to see the live video through GFOE’s telepresence system. Anyone with internet access can watch the video. Footage from the camera on our ROV Yogi is sent through a cable up to an antenna system called a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) on NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. The signal is then sent to a satellite, which in turn sends the signal over the internet and into your home or educational facility. Archaeologists, historians, and marine scientists are also watching live from shore and are able to call in to participate in the dive.

Image: GFOE

What is ROV Yogi?  

Our Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Yogi is a 1,100 pound robot that is capable of diving to 4,920 feet (1,500 meters). It is equipped with high-definition cameras, a manipulator arm to collect samples, state-of-the-art imaging sonar, and other instruments needed to explore deep waters. You can learn more about ROV Yogi here

Image: Dave Lovalvo, GFOE

How deep will ROV Yogi be diving during this mission?

The planned diving depths for this expedition are between 60 and 230 meters (200 and 750 feet). 

What is the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster

With her homeport in Charleston, South Carolina, NOAA Ship Nancy Foster is one of the most operationally diverse vessels in the NOAA fleet. She is outfitted with multiple seafloor and water column mapping sonars and also has the ability to run ROV surveys, diver surveys, and more. The vessel is 186 feet with 5 NOAA Corp officers and 15 crew members with a total capacity of 39 passengers. You can learn more about NOAA Ship Nancy Foster here.

All I see is blue water. Where are the shipwrecks?

While ROV Yogi is descending or ascending, you may only see blue water, which is the water column. If the ROV is descending, you will see the bottom in just a few minutes if there are no technical errors. If the ROV is ascending, you can return later when the vehicle is back in the water. 

Who do I hear speaking during the live dives?

You are listening to marine scientists, archaeologists, and engineers on board the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster, but you will also hear other marine scientists, archaeologists, and historians who call in to the phone line to help narrate the dives. Come meet our team of Explorers!

Can I get involved in the expedition?

Yes! By watching the dive, you are already an ocean explorer! You can also follow along on social media with the hashtag #allwrecks. Tag your shipwreck-watching photos and come explore with us!