Deep-Sea Search and Recovery with and without an Underwater Vehicle

Tongwei Zhang,
Guangjie Han,
Yusi Chen,
Lei Shu,


Deep-sea search and recovery mainly refer to the search, recovery, and salvage of high-value objects that are lost on the deep-sea bottom, including, among others, aircraft black boxes and underwater vehicles. The recovery and salvage of objects involves accurately obtaining their underwater position. Depending on whether or not the salvage object carries an acoustic beacon, two methods are available: onboard acoustic signal search and near-bottom sweep and search. Once the underwater position of a salvage object is known, it can be recovered and salvaged with a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) and/or human-occupied vehicle (HOV). However, there are many difficulties (such as the requirement of a special technical maintenance and protection team, very high diving cost) with the practical application of existing deep-sea recovery systems that are based on the deep-sea operation of ROVs and HOVs. Based on the design concept and working model of TV-grab in oceanography, this paper proposes a new type of deep-sea recovery system that does not rely on any operational underwater vehicles for the proposed recovery process. The new deep-sea recovery system combines underwater optical imaging, mechanical docking/grasping, acoustic imaging and positioning, and propeller operation to provide low-cost and rapid deep-sea recovery.

Citation Format:
Tongwei Zhang, Guangjie Han, Yusi Chen, Lei Shu, "Deep-Sea Search and Recovery with and without an Underwater Vehicle," Journal of Internet Technology, vol. 20, no. 6 , pp. 1837-1847, Nov. 2019.

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