ROV PHOCA is a remotely operated underwater vehicle of the COMANCHE type. It was built by sub-Atlantic, Aberdeen, Scotland and is owned by the GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Its smaller size compared to the ROV KIEL 6000 and therefore it's deploy ability from medium sized research vessels makes it a complement to the QUEST type ROV. It can dive up to 3000m (9842.52 feet) and was designed as a Work-Class- and Intervention-ROV.

It is characterized by these features:

  • 2 manipulators facilitate different sampling procedures
  • Digital video cameras on pan-&-tilt units are used as survey and mapping devices
  • It is fitted with the following auto-functions: depth, heading and altitude
  • The digital telemetry system SubCanTM provides real time data transmission
  • A payload of up to 100 kg allows the integration of different additional scientific equipment
  • ROV PHOCA is deployed in the so-called live-boating mode, i.e. it is directly connected to the respective vessel via a steel armoured optical fiber cable

ROV PHOCA's main employment will be the installation and maintenance of the deep sea observatory MoLab, but also within other multi-disciplinary projects such as projects by the Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean".[1]

Technical Specifications

Type:Comanche 21, electric "Workclass" ROV (sub-Atlantic)
Working Depth:up to 3000 m
Measurements:length: 2,1 m, width: 1,3 m, height: 1,35 m
Weight:in air: 1500 kg in water: buoyant
Propulsion:7 electrical DC propeller SPE-250
Speed:max. 2,5 Knots
Station Keep (dP):± 0,5 m
Auto Heading:± 5°
Deep Sea Cable:2700 m @ 19 mm, 1,3 t/km in air = 3,5 t, 1 t/km in water= 2,7 t in max. water depth; 3 high-voltage conductors @ 4 mm²; 3 LWL (single mode)
Digital Telemetrie:SubCanTM
Scientific Payload:up to 100 kg
Hydraulics:Pump 15 kW with 39 lpm @ 207 bar to power two manipulators.
Transport:2 1/2 20'-ISO-Container. Total weight 30 t.[2]


  1. Overview ROV PHOCA, GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, 2012
  2. Technical Specifications (German), GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, 2012
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