Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB
Advanced System Technology Branch

Tortuga ROV Family

Tortuga ROV Family

The TORTUGA ROV family is a series of agile, remotely controlled underwater vehicles (ROV), which, in contrast to conventional ROVs, are equipped with an internal energy storage device. This eliminates the need for an external power supply through cables. The vehicles are equipped with a compact fiber-optic cable to communicate with their control station.

The flexible design of the vehicles and the various interface options allow a variety of tasks to be handled. Several sensors for underwater navigation and environmental monitoring are available. Another unique feature of the TORTUGA-ROVs is the possibility to convert the vehicle into an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) which can operate without any cable connection to the control station - provided that the necessary navigation sensors are installed.


  • Sophisticated vehicle software allowing ROV and AUV operations
  • Intuitive graphical user interface
  • Standard interfaces for additional sensors: LAN, RS-232, RS-485, CAN, USB
  • Optional user customization of the software through scripts
  • Sensor logging in standard formats for convenient evaluation (Excel, Matlab, etc.)

 Lights and Cameras:

  • HD cameras (multiple camera setup available)
  • LED lighting
  • Real-Time video display and capturing with configurable subtitles (sensor data, location, date, etc.)


  • M-, L- and XL-version (depends on user specifications)
  • Quick and easy replacement mechanism
  • High security level


  • Standard sensors:
    • Inertial measurement unit
    • GPS
    • Pressure sensor
  • Optional sensors:
    • Sonar devices from different manufacturers
    • Water quality sensors (configurable multi-sensor-setup)
    • Water sampler
    • Altimeter (for bathymetry)
    • Doppler-Velocity-Log (DVL)
    • USBL navigation


Fibre-optic Cable:

  • Compact, floats in water
  • Up to 800 meters in length (longer versions available)


The vehicles are available with five or six thrusters for motion and position control. These units use the CAN bus to communicate with the control unit. This control unit is also responsible for interacting with the sensors and the battery management system.

All sensor data is displayed in the graphical user interface on the control station. The optical camera with high-power LEDs is used as standard sensor for navigation and inspection. An optionally available sonar assists the user in areas with bad visibility. The energy storage can be easily replaced and additional battery modules are available upon request.

Fields of Application:

  • Monitoring of water quality
  • Inspection of reservoirs, underwater structures etc.
  • Water sampling
  • Monitoring of fish farms

Reference Customers:

  • China Agricaltural University
  • Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute
  • Beijing Water Science and Technology Institute
  • Beijing Research Institute of Telemetry
  • Thüringer Fernwasserversorgung