ROV PHOCA has complemented the underwater-vehicle-fleet of the GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre For Ocean Research, Kiel in 2010. ROV PHOCA is a remotely operated vehicle of the COMANCHE type and was manufactured by sub-Atlantic (Aberdeen, Scotland). Due to its smaller and lighter build, ROV PHOCA, which is designed for diving depth of up to 3000 m, may be deployed off medium sized research vessels and thus represents an excellent complement to ROV KIEL 6000. The supply cable of ROV PHOCA, a steel armoured fibre optic cable, is identical to the one of ROV KIEL 6000, and thus, both ROVs may be operated using either the deep sea winch (6500 m cable), a smaller midwater-winch (2700 m cable) or the tether winch (500 m cable). 

Like ROV KIEL 6000, PHOCA has been designed as a Work-Class- and Intervention-ROV, and is characterised by the following features: 

  • 2 manipulators facilitate different sampling procedures
  • digital video cameras on  pan-&-tilt units are used as survey ands mapping devices  
  • it is fitted with the following auto-functions: depth, heading and altitude
  • the digital telemetry system SubCanTM provides real time data transmission 
  • a payload of up to 100 kg allows the integration of different additional scientific equipment
  • ROV PHOCA is deployed in the so-called live-boating mode, i.e. it is directly connected to the respective vessel via a steel armoured opical fibre cable 

ROV PHOCA is primarily employed for the installation and maintenance of the deep sea observatory MoLab, and also within other multi-disciplinary projects.

The ROV PHOCA was procured within the project MoLab and financed by the BMBF.

<link en centre central-facilities tlz under-water internal-link internen link im aktuellen>Information about the use of GEOMAR underwater vehicles & research equipment

  • Scientific Head

    Dr. Friedrich Abegg
    GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
    Wischhofstr. 1-3
    24148 Kiel
    Technology & Logistics Centre
    Phone: +49 431 600-2134
    Fax: +49 431 600-2680
    E-mail: fabegg(at) 

    Technical Head

    Martin Pieper (Dipl. Ing.)
    Technology & Logistics Centre
    Phone: +49 431 600-2688
    Fax: +49 431 600-2680
    E-mail: mpieper(at) 

    Scientific Advisor

    Prof. Dr. Colin Devey
    RD4 - Dynamics of the Ocean Floor
    Phone: +49 431 600-2257
    Fax: +49 431 600-2624
    E-mail: cdevey(at)