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Technical Specification | Ship Requirements

Ship Requirements

The AUV is a container-based system. The following components are part of the AUV system:

  • Operation and workshop container
  • LARS (Launch and Recovery System)
  • HPU (Hydraulic Power Unit)
  • Acoustic transducers
  • Spare parts

Operation and Workshop Container

The Operation container is equipped with air conditioning, chain hoist, electrical winch, charging station for vehicle batteries and a 19" rack (Server, external power supply for the AUV, communication consoles, etc.). The container should be positioned on the upper deck so that the AUV can be moved to the LARS on aluminum rails (see right). The following specifications apply for the electricity connection of the container (CEE socket):

  • 400 VAC (alternatively 380 VAC/440 VAC) / 3 phase / 32 A


The launching and recovery frame (LARS) is installed on adapter plates sideways or aft on the ships deck. The LARS consists of a hydraulically operated A-frame, a turntable and rails, where the AUV can be moved in the right position. As described above, the combination LARS and Operation container must be positioned in the right way. The oil pressure for the hydraulic cylinders is provided by the HPU.


The hydraulic unit must be placed in the context of LARS. It is like the LARS mounted on an adapter plate on the upper deck. A number of hydraulic hoses run between HPU and LARS. The following specifications apply for the power supply:

  • 400 VAC / 3 phase / 63 A

Acoustic Transducer

The transducer is used for acoustic communication between ship, AUV and transponders. He must be installed on the exterior of the ship, such as a moon pool. An alternative is an outboard pole with the transducer installed on the lower end.

AUV Team / labs / Storage spare parts

The AUV team consists of at least 3 people. At least 2 office workspaces are necessary for data preparation and mission planning. There is a need to store spares boxes in the ship (alternatively, a second 20-foot containers will be placed on the upper deck).


The entire system is transported in two 20-foot containers. (Weight: 7 tons - Operation and workshop containers / 11 t - LARS container)

The AUV Abyss has been used on the following ships: FS Poseidon, FS Meteor, RV Sonne, MS Seabed Worker, RV Sagar Nidhi, MV Alucia, RV Kilo Moana, FS Maria S. Merian

  • Scientific Head

    Dr. Peter Linke
    GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
    D-24148 Kiel
    Phone: +49 431 600-2115
    Fax: +49 431 600-1601

    Technical Head

    Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Marcel Rothenbeck
    GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
    Wischhofstr. 1-3
    D-24148 Kiel
    Phone: +49 (0)431 600-1655
    Fax: +49 (0)431 600-1601