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A lander is being designed to perform a year-long in situ Heat Transfer Experiment (ISHTE) on the deep seafloor. This paper describes the acoustic-communication, electrical-control, data-acquisition, and mechanical-control systems developed and tested for use on the ISHTE lander. The lander's functions include implanting a heat source in the deep ocean clay, monitoring the thermal field, supporting geotechnical and geochemical experiments, and recovering undisturbed sediment core samples. Once the lander is deployed, the acoustic-communication link is the only connection between it and a surface ship. The acoustic-communication link is used to track and send commands to the lander and to transmit experiment data and lander status to a surface ship.