The scientific and economic significance of underwater technology is considerable, particularly as the oceans are becoming more and more important not only as a source of energy, raw materials and food but also due to their influence on climatic changes. Underwater technology, especially at great depths, represents a very particular challenge which is being tackled by ATLAS ELEKTRONIK Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) DeepC©, SeaOtter Mk1 and SeaOtter Mk2. Many actions that would normally require high cost ROV systems or which are not possible (e.g. under ice investigations) can now accomplished using AUVs, at less cost and manpower. DeepC© is a high efficient AUV system for ultra deep missions (4000m), with long endurance (40–60h) and for a lot of applications. The development objectives are: Low vehicle weight, modular design, high efficient energy generation, autonomous mission execution, obstacle avoidance, in mission re-planning capability, precise navigation, advanced diagnosis and fault recovery system, high manoeuvrability, hover capability and containerized payload. The system is final integrated and ready for water tests and demonstrations till end of 2004. The paper deals with the system performance and shows the development status. The AUV SeaOtter Mk1, based on the ATLAS Maridan M600 vehicle and adapted to modern requirements in navigation software and mission management, is the ideal payload sensor carrier for military and commercial purposes. It ensures precise positioning, stability and manoeuvrability for accurate data collection. The on-board system provides all necessary position, attitude, status and time information to ensure effective and efficient performance throughout the mission. High positional accuracy and accurate stabilization of the vehicle’s attitude throughout the collection of data allows the mapping of raw data to be implemented directly, without post-processing, to obtain the necessary correlation of the survey mosaic. The advanced version of the SeaOtter AUV, the Mk2 is designed for various purposes, strictly adhering to a modular approach with regard to superstructure, propulsion, energy, communication, navigation and payload. The basic vehicle can easily be extended by the means of one or two extension modules to carry heavier payloads. The paper shows the SeaOtter Mk1 performance and gives an overview over the Mk2 Philosophy and the development status.

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