Helmholtz Association


The autonomous and wireless operating AWI crawler TRAMPER is constructed on the basis of the deep sea crawler WALLY. It will be exposed into the deep sea by a winch and releasers. After a successful mission – of up to one year – an acoustic signal from a ship will be send to the crawler, which then will throw off ballast weights and will self emerge. Also a satellite-based positioning system is integrated, which in case of problems sends a signal with the exact position of the vehicle. Due to the planned long-term use of the AWI crawler system the focus was on the development of a highly fuel-efficient and intelligent energy management system.

This stand-alone operating equipment has been used only once during an expedition aboard the research vessel „Sonne“ in the eastern Pacific in 2015. TRAMPER is currently on his way to the deep sea area “HAUSGARTEN” near Spitsbergen with the research vessel Polarstern.

TRAMPER is equipped with a micro-profiler which will measure oxygen profiles on the seafloor once a week, then will drive a short distance, and then a month later will make the next measurement, etc., etc., etc. For the first time ever the scientists will get data of the seafloor under the arctic ice a whole year long and that is because of the autonomy and intelligent energy management of TRAMPER.
Whether „Tramper“ will make his work and way as planned, we will see when TRAMPER should be lifted back to RV POLARSTERN during the expedition in summer 2017.

Contact: frank.wenzhoefer@awi.de; sascha.lehmenhecker@awi.de; johannes.lemburg@awi.de


© AWI | TRAMPER during the 1st test deployment at the DFKI deep sea exploration tank


© AWI | Deep-sea crawler TRAMPER side view


© AWI | Mission planning for the deployment of TRAMPER at the seafloor