A deep and long cruising range AUV URASHIMA has been developed by JAMSTEC since 1998. URASHIMA carries out the development in the 7 years plan from 1998 to 2004. The body of the vehicle is completed in 2000, and then various functional tests are carried out in the sea-going tests. The first stage of development from 2000 to 2002, the vehicle uses Lithium-ion rechargeable battery for power source. The equipments, hard-wear, soft-wear, navigation system and autonomous functions improved gradually in the first stage. As results of the first stage, the vehicle dived to 3,518m depth, and transmitted fine pictures via acoustic communication and it achieved 132.5km cruising by autonomous navigation mode.
JAMSTEC was established in October 1971. Since then JAMSTEC has kept growing and engaging in ocean research and technological development activities for understanding the mechanism of the global environmental fluctuation. Recently, the global warming has become serious problem. In order to make clear the mechanism of global warming, it is necessary to study circulation and perturbation of the ocean. Particularly pole region is remarkable area of global environmental fluctuation. For this purpose, many oceanographic scientists want to gather efficiently a lot of seawater data and water samples of various area and depth all over the world. The missions require the autonomous underwater vehicle which collects data and samples automatically. So, we have started research and development project of AUV for performing long cruising range observation. A deep and long cruising AUV "URASHIMA" (Code name: AUV-EX1) has been developed since 1998. The development purpose is in order to gather efficiently a lot of seawater data and seawater samples of various area and depth all over the world. The body of the vehicle was completed in 2000, and then various functional tests were carried out in sea-going tests.