SSC Pacific
Advanced Tethered Vehicle (ATV)

The Advanced Tethered Vehicle (ATV) is a tethered, unmanned vehicle system designed for operation at depths as great as 20,000 feet. The ATV work package includes a pair of TV cameras arranged on a pan-and-tilt to provide a stereo or 3-D view of the work area. Two master-slave manipulators provide both position control and force feedback. The work system also includes a sophisticated package consisting of a spreader, drill motor, wrench and rotary saw. A grabber is also included on the work platform for maintaining position with respect to objects upon which work is being done.

Advanced Tethered Vehicle
Advanced Tethered Vehicle.

ATV also has an obstacle avoidance sonar and a CTFM sonar for target acquisition. The state-of-the-art 23,000 ft. cable includes power conductors, fiber-optic signal conductors, and a kevlar strength member.

The ATV was designed and built at the SSC's Hawaii laboratory as a follow-on to the Remote Unmanned Work System (RUWS). It was tested and evaluated along with the Advanced Unmanned Search System (AUSS) at SSC San Diego. It was then transferred to the Submarine Development Group One (SUBDEVGRU ONE) in San Diego in February of 1993, with SSC SD continuing to provide support, re-engineering and new fabrication of system components. The ATV serves as the Navy's unmanned deep-water asset on the west coast, complimenting the Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle (CURV III) on the east coast. In May, 1998, the ATV assisted the National Geographic Society in locating, mapping and photographing the wreck of the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, resting at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, 16,650 feet below the surface.

In early 2001, the ATV set sail for its new home at the Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL) at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Under an agreement with MPL and the University of Hawaii (UH), MPL and UH will maintain and use the vehicle for scientific research, with the Navy retaining ownership for any future missions it may be called upon to perform.

ATV and AUSS aboard ship 
ATV and AUSS aboard ship.


Scientific instruments on ATV
Scientific instruments on ATV.



being launched
ATV being launched.
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Updated: 8/8/2013 2:11 PM EST   Published (1.0)