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The Innerspace Deep Sea Initiative is a new collaboration launched by Global Oceans and the Center for Life in Extreme Environments (CLEE) at Portland State University (PSU), together with a network of scientists, collaborating research institutions, and private sector partners, designed to explore the mechanisms of adaptation and survival in extreme environments of the deep sea. To support the program, Global Oceans will mobilize a rebuilt 6,000-meter ROVs as a new “open source” modular instrument platform called the Innerspace 6000 OEV (Ocean Exploration Vehicle), together with other new towed and autonomous vehicle systems.

The initiative will host an interdisciplinary and inclusive research, operational, training, and public outreach platform focused on developing new deep sea exploration technologies, scientific instruments, micro/nanoscopic imaging and sampling systems, and research expeditions. It will enable scientific investigations that span biological life across habitats from hydrothermal vents to frozen methane seeps and across life history stages from embryos to adults - to collaboratively answer new questions about ocean life on our planet, many of which have yet to be formulated.

The initiative will catalyze fresh thinking about the integration of emerging technologies from biomedical, space exploration, and other applications for deep sea exploration. This approach, for example, will enable new high-resolution deep sea imaging and micro-spatial scale environmental sensing - to observe and document “extremophiles” under natural conditions, behaviors, morphologies, and biophysical associations prior to sampling to surface labs for genomic and other “omics” analyses.

Innerspace will also support translational research by linking discoveries of novel biophysical adaptations to extreme ocean environments with efforts to address global challenges at scale - from novel drugs for human health to climate change, clean energy, synthetic biology, AI/machine learning, and ocean conservation. 

Click on the Project Overview button below for more information about this project.

Project Highlights

Generating Wide Area Benthic Visualization for the Global Seamounts Project with the Ocean Explorer 6000

Global Oceans’ acquisition of the Ocean Explorer 6000 Towed Sonar Vehicle will help enable a proposed methodology for acquiring wide-area high-resolution images of selected seamount topography and adjacent benthic seafloor for the Global Seamounts Project (GSP). 

Deep Sea Vehicles

Project Team & Advisors

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