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AUV Operations

SEAL is operated without dedicated Launch and Recovery system (LARS). Usually, to operate the AUV on board the research vessel, just a capable crane is necessary - best would be to have a crane-hook distance of 10 m outboard. Alternatively, operation of AUV over a capable A-frame at stern of vessel is possible, as well. For deploy of AUV, the vehicle will be placed on sea-surface next to the vessel with crane and 2-fold deploy-rigg. Afterwards, it will be released and piloted backwards away from research vessel remotely, via RF-link.

Prior to AUV mission start, a final test will be conducted nearby the vessel. Therefore, the AUV will dive and keeps it position in 30 m waterdepth for 10 minutes. During that time-span, functionality of underwater coms and positioning systems could be checked and finally, the AUV could be sent to mission.

After completion of AUV mission, the AUV will be positioned at sea-surface, nearby the research vessel. With the assistance of a zodiac, a support-rope and the recovery-rigg will be placed on the AUV. Afterwards, the final recovery-line, guided through a sheave in the crane, will be connected to the recovery-rigg and the AUV will be pulled below the ships crane position. Finally, the revovery rigg will be pulled into a lock-latch and the AUV could be winched up with the ships crane into deck position.

Detailed information about the system:


Deploy of AUV

AUV attached to deploy-rigg short before deploy, guided by assistance ropes front and aft of AUV.

AUV at deploy position, mid-ships position far out. Tiny rope showing release-line.

Released AUV, steering backward away from support vessel.

Recovery of AUV


Zodiac in "hold"-position underneath ships-crane, short before operation with recovery-line.


Zodiac-team attaching recovery-rigg and assistance rope.

AUV in recovery-position underneath ships-crane. Lock-latch allready latched and AUV is getting to be winched up.

Alternative operations

Deploy of AUV over portside with main ships-crane (RV POSEIDON).

Deploy of AUV over A-frame at stern of RV SUROIT.

Deploy of AUV over A-frame at stern of RV METEOR, release recangular to ships heading.

Recovery of AUV on portside of RV POSEIDON with ships-crane.

Recovery of AUV at stern of RV METEOR over A-frame.

Recovery of AUV on starboard aft position with ships-crane on RV M.S.MERIAN.

Recovery of AUV with dipper arm of a dredger (lake test).

Deploy of AUV with portal crane inside sailing harbour (Schweiz, Estavayer).

AUV operation with portal crane inside sailing harbour (Lake Constanze).