ABE Support Vessel Requirements
Because ABE is a free-swimming vehicle that navigates from its own long-baseline navigation array, it is mobilized worldwide from a single 20-foot container. It can be deployed from a range of non-specialized research ships (e.g. ships without a dynamic positioning system), facilitating rapid response efforts and exploratory research in new areas. Consequently, the support vessel requirements are simply 1) deck space for a 20-foot container aboard ship, 2) deck area for the vehicle in its cradle (3 m long, 2 m wide), and 3) a shipboard crane able to lift the vehicle (550 kg) into and out of the water at launch and recovery.