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Hydrographic Science Research Center


The Hydrographic Science Research Center (HSRC) is located with the Division of Marine Science of the School of Ocean Science and Engineering at the NASA Stennis Space Center.

Offices of the staff, many affiliated researchers, and graduate students are located in Building 1020. The HSRC has a suite of hydrographic surveying equipment and number of crewed and uncrewed vessels that are kept at the Ocean Support Facility.

Eagle Ray - The Eagle Ray autonomous underwater vehicle follows a pre-programmed mission to map the seafloor. This AUV can reach depths of 3000 meters and has mapped many regions off the US east coast and the northern Gulf of Mexico, surveying features of geological, biological, and archaeological interest. Eagle Ray AUV info

Mola Mola - The Mola Mola autonomous underwater vehicle, given the scientific name of the Ocean Sunfish, is used to collect photos of the seafloor. It follows a pre-programmed mission plan untethered from its support ship as it conducts surveys to a depth of 2000 meters. Mola Mola has been used to study corals, geological features, deep-sea biological communities, and an 1800's shipwreck in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Mola Mola AUV info

Sea Eagle C-Worker 5 - The Sea Eagle is an L3/Harris ASV. It is a 1230 kg surface vessel of 5.5 m length and 1.7 m beam. A 57 hp inboard diesel engine provided a cruising/survey speed of 7 knots with an endurance of up to 5 days at survey speed. The usual payload includes a Kongsberg 2040P multibeam system and a winch for sound speed profiles.

WAM-V16 - The WAM-V16 is a uncrewed surface vessel which has a body frame with a controllable articulating pairs of inflatable pontoons to help keep the survey platform level in the presence of waves. It is propelled by electric motors and has a retractable sensor lever-arm to move the echosounder out of the water when not needed.

EchoBoat - The EchoBoat-160 is a two-man portable autonomous platform for hydrographic survey applications. The vessel is 1.68 in length and 0.8 m in beam with a survey speed of 3 knots. The EchoBoat is equipped with a Pico multibeam system.

Wingtra One - The Wingtra One is a vertical take-off and land (VTOL) autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle(UAV). It can be outfitted to carry two different camera payloads. A high resolution (42 MP) camera, and a multi-band calibrated multispectral camera with 6 channels (Blue, Green, Red, Red Edge, Near IR and Thermal). The image data that are recorded by Wingtra One is combined with precise GNSS information collected at a base station to create survey grade mapping products (Orthophotos and 3-D models). These products aide in shoreline mapping and nearshore bathymetric measurement in waters where clarity allows visible light penetration to the seafloor.


  • Kongsberg XXX
  • Reson Seabat XXX
  • Norbit XXX
  • Edgetech 4600 swath bathymetry side scan sonar (2)
  • Edgetech 4125 side-scan sonar (1)


  • Applanix POSMV

GNSS Receivers

  • Trimble Alloy (2)
  • Trimble NetR9 (2)
  • Trimble NetR8 (9)
  • Trimble SPS 855 (1)
  • Topcon GR5 (1)
  • Topcon GR3 (1)
  • CNAV 3050 (2)

Electronic total station

  • Topcon GTS 250 (1)
  • Leica TC 305 (1)
  • Leica TS02 (1)

Digital level

  • Topcon DL 500 (2)
  • Leica NA2002 (1)

R/V LeMoyne - 29" Aluminum Chambered Boat with twin 150 horsepower Suzuki motors. 130 gallon fuel tank with a range of 130 miles with an average of 1.0 miles per gallon depending on sea conditions and speed. Has a fast response hull configuration and is able to reach speeds of 30 knots in good seas and designed to handle rougher conditions if needed. A 5kw generator is on board and able to produce substantial amount of 110v Electrical Power. Open deck area with a davit boom and electric winch available. R/V Le Moyne

R/V Point Sur - 135 ft vessel, built in 1980. It can accomodate 13 researchers and technicians, and a crew of eight. For day cruises, it has a capacity of 40 researchers. The main deck covers 1,100 sq. ft. and includes a primary laboratory and wet laboratory. The ship sports a cruising speed of 9.5 knots and a range of 6,800 nautical miles at 10 knots. R/V Point Sur

R/V Jim Franks - 60 ft aluminum catamaran, built in 2015, with a capacity of 40 passengers. This vessel completes a variety of work to include long-lining for shark research, vertical line sampling for reef fish, trawling surveys, and water quality testing in the Gulf, Mississippi Sound and adjacent rivers and bays. R/V Jim Franks

R/V Tommy Munro - 97 foot oceanographic research vessel used primarily for offshore research in the Gulf of Mexico. Has conducted a variety of research activities to include: trawling surveys, plankton surveys, side-scan work, seismic research, oceanographic surveys, fish trap and video surveys, and deployment of structures, buoys, and moorings. R/V Tommy Munro

Other Trailerable Vessels - USM has numerous trailerable vessels ranging from 18-foot Carolina Skiffs to 26-foot aluminum Gravois boats - one with a davit. These vessels support sampling for/with water quality, trawl, and a variety of other collection needs. Trailerable Vessels

The Ocean Support Facility  at Stennis Space Center includes a drive-through 3,365 sq.ft high bay with 10 and 5 ton cranes, a 2,379 sq.ft. air-conditioned high bay, a 1,109 sq.ft. electronics shop, a 864 sq.ft wood and metal shop, a 437 sq.ft. lab, a 351 sq.ft. classroom, 6 storage rooms, and a large mezzanine for long-term storage. The facility also includes a boat shed, test tank, conex bot mounting points for 5 separate boxes, and a survey network for conducting vessel configurations surveys.

The USM Marine Research Center (MRC) at the Port of Gulfport includes a 415 sq. ft. classroom, 231 sq. ft. testing lab, 225 sq. ft. electronics lab, 429 sq. ft. fabrication shop, 230 sq. ft. conference room, and 218 sq. ft. storage area. The MRC also has two adjacent climate controlled pass-through bays, large yard parking with 110/220v power receptacles, and a 20 ft. by 8 ft. by 7.5 ft. deep freshwater testing pool.

High Performance Computer Facilities- The data center houses two high performance clusters (HPSs) rated at 8.2 TFLOPS that collectively consist of two master nodes, 43 compute nodes (570 cores), and two local data storage arrays. For both HPCs, quad-data rate Infiniband is used for inter-node communication between all of the blades. The HPCs have a dedicated storage array that currently has a raw capacity of 130 TB, a 24 TB local backup array, and access to the USM iTech storage (if necessary) that is located in the USM data center in Hattiesburg. Three UNIX server are also housed in the DMS data center, with are used for post processing of model solutions, and support of research and instructional activities.

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Hydrographic Science Research Center

1020 Balch Boulevard
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529

Stennis Space Center

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