The AUV ABYSS (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) is designed for marine research. Its name refers to the so-called Abyssal plain, a part of the ocean floor between 2000 and 6000 meters. This depth range of the deep sea is the main working area of the AUV. It can map the ocean floor using various sonar systems and collect data of the water column by different sensors. The REMUS 6000 type AUV operates with lithium-ion batteries and is able to dive up to 22 hours. Missions have to be pre-programmed on board the research vessels. This torpedo-shaped system can handle several scientific objectives during a dive. The following probes and sensors are installed: 

• Conductivity, Temperature and Depth Probe (CTD)
• Particle Sensor
• Multi-Beam Echosounder 
• Sidescan Sonar
• Subbottom Profiler Sonar
• Electronic Still Camera 

The AUV can be operated from all large to medium-sized research vessels. The vehicle is deployed using a Launch and Recovery System (LARS) with a turnable system to allow an operation over the stern or the side. 

The AUV system was built in 2008 by Hydroid, LLC (USA). 


Scientific Head

Prof. Dr. Colin Devey
GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
RD4 - Dynamics of the Ocean Floor
Wischhofstr. 1-3, Building 8D / Room 203
D-24148 Kiel
Phone: +49 431 600-2257
Fax: +49 431 600-2624
E-mail: cdevey(at)

Technical Head

Dr. Klas Lackschewitz
GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Wischhofstr. 1-3
D-24148 Kiel
Phone: +49 (0)431 600-2132
Fax: +49 (0)431 600-2924
E-mail: klackschewitz(at)