The Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) has developed a deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can operate in the depths of 6,000 m.
Maritime Affairs-Fisheries Minister Oh Keon-don said on Dec. 7 that KORDI started the AUV project with a total expenditure of $11.7 million in 2001 to build up scientific infrastructure for deepsea research.
Construction of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will be completed in March 2006 and inaugural test of its performance will be conducted in April in depths of 2,000 m around Ulleung Island, 87 km east of the Dokdo islets in the East Sea.
The vehicle will be launched in the Pacific in September 2006 to survey South Korea's mining zone between the Clarion and Clipperton islands that was allotted by the International Seabed Authority.
The AUV is an unmanned deep-sea explorer that prospects for gas, minerals and other natural resources, while gathering related data.
December 15, 2005
Marine Technology Reporter