Conference Paper

Newly-developed Devices for The Two Types of Underwater Vehicles

DOI: 10.1109/OCEANSE.2007.4302431 Conference: OCEANS 2007 - Europe
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT JAMSTEC has developed the two types of underwater vehicle since 2005: an ROV to the oceans' deepest depth called ASSS11k (advanced sediment sampling system to 11,000 meter) and a hybrid underwater vehicle for use in shallow-water to mid-depth zones named PICASSO (Plankton Investigatory Collaborating Autonomous Survey System Operon). The most important purpose of the ASSS11k is to get a lot of mud sample of challenger deep in the Mariana Trench, because a number of bacteria have been found there. Scientist wants to continuously explore the deepest parts of the oceans with a vehicle equipped with sediment samplers. ASSS11k consists of a sampling station and a sediment probe. The station contains two types of bottom samplers. One launches the probe to make a preliminary survey, launching the sampler to obtain a sample. We carried out the first sea trial using support vessel of "KAIREI" in January 2007. We tested every functions of the system and achieved sediment sampling at Sagami bay. PICASSO (2 times 0.8 times 0.8 m, 200 kg) is designed for biological and oceanographic observations in depths of up to 1,000 m. This small, light vehicle can be handled and operated by a team of only a few people. The easy-to-use vehicle does not need a dedicated support ship. The vehicle can be used either as untethered remotely operated vehicle (UROV) or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). In order to develop these vehicles, we used some new technologies and then developed new original devices: a small electrical-optical hybrid communication system, an HDTV optical communication system with Ethernet interface, synthetic designed pressure vessel-chassis-inner circuit boards, buoyancy material for deepest depth, a thin cable with high-tensile strength, a core sampler launcher, crawlers, compact winch motor drivers, a USBL system, a ballast controller, a friendly-user-interface program for operator, a high capacity lithium ion battery, a down sizing optical fiber spooler, and a prototy-
pe of underwater electromagnetic communication system.

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