Fraunhofer IOSB

Fraunhofer IOSB  highlighted DEDAVE a structurally (payload) very flexible AUV used to compile topological underwater maps of the ocean floor, record the nature of the marine sediments and perform any related inspection and measurement tasks. Its name is therefore derived from the description “Deep Diving AUV for Exploration”.



The vessel was simultaneously equipped with all commonly used sensor systems for mapping and sounding of the ocean floor (SSS+MBES+SBP+CTD), so all different sensor data can be recorded without surfacing, altering the vehicle or submerging. They have also been working with the SAS process from the start, which is becoming increasingly important in sonar technology.

Thanks to the flexibility of the payload, fewer missions are needed, which in turn reduces the costs. Competitors’ AUVs with a similar payload, on the other hand, are longer and heavier.

The consistently pressure-neutral (free-flooded) structure of the relevant components reduces the weight of the vessel and saves a lot of space that would otherwise be taken up by the large and thick-walled pressure tanks.

The hull of the vessel and the buoyancy materials are divided into fixed-length modules, so that the AUV can be adapted in accordance with the grid dimension. This means that customers’ investments are safe, even for future applications that are not yet foreseeable.


DEDAVE can be used as a universal carrier for almost all sonars designed for underwater use, including multibeam echosounders, side-scan sonars, synthetic aperture sonars as well as magnetometers and a range of other sensors. Thanks to its unique design and high energy capacity, it can operate at a maximum depth of 6000 meters and complete missions lasting up to 20 hours. Relatively small in size, this flexible vehicle can be used on-board both small and larger ships and in a variety of settings.

Its modular and depressurised or free-flooded structure allow DEDAVE to meet even the most challenging of demands that could otherwise only be performed by larger, wider, more expensive and significantly heavier underwater robots.

DEDAVE’s small and highly flexible structure differs entirely from the torpedo shapes usually found in this kind of product. Its unique design consists of an open titanium support frame, which is the basis for a space shuttle-like inner and outer shape. Because the weight of the frame and the payload is offset by pressure-resistant syntactic foam, DEDAVE automatically floats in the water.

The hold of the vessel is extremely large and spacious. In addition, all of the shuttle is flooded with the surrounding water, thus eliminating the need for pressurised encasing of the overall system, which would otherwise make it heavy and awkward to use. Each subsystem is individually encased in pressure-proof housing to protect it against the water pressure and corrosion caused by saltwater.

The shuttle design allows almost any kind of payload or sensor to be quickly added to the vessel, and the patented battery module included in the design can be replaced in less than no time.

During manufacturing, all components are thoroughly tested in our pressure chamber, which runs pressure tests of up to 1200 bar and intelligent pressure cycles, and are subsequently passed through our internal quality management system. DEDAVE is used by/of use to:

• Underwater research applications
• Planning the relocation of submarine cables and inspecting them during operation
• Coast guard activities
• Deep-sea mining
• The deep-sea oil and gas industry

Their exhibits were interested in the following conference streams: Handling Big Data; Hydrography, Geophysics and Geotechnics; Ocean Observing Systems: Marine Technology and Services Sector Role in the Blue Economy; Oil & Gas: What’s next for Ageing Offshore Assets?; and Unmanned Vehicles and Vessels Showcase.

DEDAVE – an entrepreneurial project by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft: Fraunhofer is the largest applied research organisation in Europe. It receives public funding from the German federal government and states for basic research projects, and conducts publicly financed joint research projects in collaboration with small and large firms, as well as contract research for private industrial customers.

These commissioned research projects are conducted for both large enterprises and small, mid-sized businesses. Fraunhofer gained worldwide recognition after scientists in one of its institutes invented the patented MP3 audio compression system and its follow-up formats – an invention that changed the music and entertainment industry and the way in which we use music and audio forever. DEDAVE is an efficient autonomous navigation carrier platform in the shape similar to the well-known space shuttles, which can be used for
• Underwater research applications
• Planning the relocation of submarine cables and inspecting them during operation
• Coast guard activities
• Deep-sea mining
• The deep-sea oil and gas industry /


In partnership with

Endorsing Associations

We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies page. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.