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This paper deals with the development of a pressure-tolerant autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for the deep sea, made without pressure hulls. Within the framework of a collaborative effort, a pressure-tolerant and hydrodynamically favorable formed test vessel is introduced. Moreover, individual systems, which are currently under construction, will be described in more detail. The vehicle is equipped with pressure-tolerant energy supply, various pressure-tolerant electric motors, a pressure-tolerant steering system, a pressure-tolerant jet propulsion system, a variable buoyancy system, a vehicle based navigational unit, as well as with two ultra-short baseline (USBL) modems. For the deployment of ocean engineering sensors, many variable payload sections exist. This paper will provide an overview of the contemporary development status of pressure-tolerant technology. Furthermore, an outlook for the entire project with the aim of doing test dives in the Atlantic Ocean is provided.
Date of Conference: 19-22 Sept. 2011