Did you know that the field of oceanography is split into four main subdisciplines: chemical, physical, biological, and geological? While I (mostly) agree and am familiar with subdivisions in engineering (originally consisting of three: mechanical, civil, and electrical), I'm not as convinced about the subdivisions in oceanography.
I also believe that today's oceanographers should have basic technical training, enough to make informed decisions when purchasing equipment for their research and to troubleshoot the subsequent issues that will almost certainly occur.
1. Marine robotic vehicles
useful for 3D studies, i.e. for phenomena that spread both vertically and horizontally, like oil spills or animal migrations
2. Surface and profiling instruments
useful for 1D or 2D studies, especially long-term, like how oxygen varies with depth in a specific location
3. Other fundamental methods
ships, submarines, and satellites: these methods show the progression of research platforms throughout history
It is very probable that some people will disagree with how I've categorized marine vehicles. The lines between the different types are still fairly blurred and there is no universal agreement. Below is a general overview of vehicle types as well as a more detailed look at naming differences.
Science vs. military/commercial
why is classification so difficult?
A comparison with biology
... and a final analogy.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT GLIDERS:
The "phytoplankton" of the underwater robotics world
Last revised: April 17, 2020