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
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 x 0.8 x 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
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 prototype of underwater
electromagnetic communication system.
Index Terms—Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Remotely
Manuscript received April 2, 2007.
Hiroshi Yoshida, Taro Aoki, Hiroyuki Osawa, Satoshi Tsukioka, Shojiro
Ishibashi, Yoshitaka Watanabe, Junichiro Tahara, Tsuyoshi Miyazaki,
Tadahiro Hyakudome, Takao Sawa, Kazuaki Itoh are with Marine Technology
Center, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka,
Japan (corresponding author to provide e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Akihisa Ishikawa is with Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd.
Dhugal Lindsay is with Extremobiosphere Research Center, Japan Agency
for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan.
AMSTEC is owner of the manned submersible SHINKAI
6500, the 3,000 m-class remotely-operated vehicle
HYPER-DOLPHIN, and KAIKO 7000II  and has
operated them. Scientists use these vehicles in accordance with
their research objectives in depth of up to 7,000 meters. Every
vehicle has high performance and is very useful, but is not
sufficient to investigate whole deepsea.
Recently, a number of bacteria have been found from mud
samples of Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench . Those
sediment samples were taken with KAIKO which was the only
ROV could reach to the deepest depth, but the vehicle of the
KAIKO was lost -.
In order to investigate the distributions of macro- and
micro-plankton versus environmental parameters, several trials
with ROVs and manned submersible  have been carried out.
In these ways, one is only able to gain the information of a point
nature and not be able to determined large scale distributional
patterns with limited ship-time.
As mentioned above, some microbiologists want an ROV
reached to the deepest depth to get mud samples. Some
scientists need small underwater vehicles can be operated
without a dedicated support ship for research of midwater zone.
It is difficult and may cost so much to develop an underwater
vehicle which provides both requirements. We have thus
started design, development and construction of two types of
vehicles in 2005: an 11,000 m-class ROV system for sediment
sampling and a small multiple-platform autonomous survey
system which is deployable from small to medium sized boats
and ships of opportunity. The development for each system so
far costs about 1 million dollars, respectively.
The ROV system equipped with a sediment sampling tool
will dive up to 11,000 meter so that the system must enable
scientist to get sediment samples in the deepest ocean floor. We
named this ROV system as ASSS11000 (Advanced Sediment
Sampling System 11000). The ASSS11000 is mounted on the
support vessel KAIREI. The KAIREI is already equipped with
the on-board system for the KAIKO7000. We thus divert some
part of the on-board system of the KAIKO7000 to the ROV to
cut its production cost.
The other vehicle system is based the small hybrid
underwater vehicle (UROV/AUV), MROV  developed by
JAMSTEC and are equipped with a high resolution camera
Newly-developed Devices for The Two Types of
Hiroshi Yoshida, Taro Aoki, Hiroyuki Osawa, Satoshi Tsukioka, Shojiro Ishibashi, Yoshitaka
Watanabe, Junichiro Tahara, Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Tadahiro Hyakudome, Takao Sawa, Kazuaki Itoh,
Akihisa Ishikawa, and Dhugal Lindsay, Member, IEEE
1-4244-0635-8/07/$20.00 ©2007 IEEE