As the understanding of the oceans has advanced, it has become obvious that many processes occur at temporal and spatial scales that cannot be effectively studied using research vessels with shipboard sampling alone. Specifically equipped underwater platforms for narrow and broad areal coverage, together with the utilization of multidisciplinary databases and geographical information systems helps us today to increase our knowledge on the spatial and temporal variability in the ocean.

Assessments of geological, physical and chemical processes in deep waters as well as long-term observations of deep-sea ecosystems require special designs and new developments, especially with regards to energy supply and data communication of ocean observatories and sensors.

Beside installations to test the pressure tolerance of deep-sea equipment, the Deep-Sea Research Group has various technical facilities at their disposal, e.g. special gears to take water samples and to collect organisms and sediments as well as systems to carry out observations, measurements and experiments at the deep seafloor.