The costs of an experiment with OBS depends mainly on the number of instruments used and the duration of deployment. They can be devided into consumables (anchor, small parts and batteries), insurance and services (mobilisation, demobilisation and transports). Additionally, one or two experienced technician are required on board for deployment and recovery.

Important! Please note, the amounts given in the tables below are for orientation only. These are estimates (as at January 2015) without value-added tax (19%).

Batteries  see extra table
Anchor and small parts   500 EUR / OBS
Mobilisation / demobilisation  900 EUR / OBS
Insurance2000 EUR / OBS
Technical support onboard  550 EUR / day / person + travel expenses
Transports  not applicable



Depending on the number of batteries, the standard OBS can be used in two configurations, a small version with only one pressure tube (max. 96 cells) and without the outer floating units, and a large (normal) version including two pressure tubes (max. 96+132 cells) and the outer floating units. The deep-sea OBS are available only with one pressure tube.

Alkaline cells are suggested to be used for short-term experiments. Battery packages of 48, 96 and 132 cells each can be combined to achieve a maximum deployment duration of 132 days (sampling rate 500 Hz).

Number of cellsCapacity (500 Hz) Price / unit Configuration
      48          28 days    250 EUR        small
      96          55 days    500 EUR        small
    144 (96+48)          83 days    750 EUR        large
    192 (96+96)        111 days  1000 EUR        large
    228 (96+132)        132 days  1250 EUR        large


Lithium cells are recommended to be used for long-term experiments. They are available at packages of 48, 84 and 96 cells each. Combination of these leads to a maximum deployment duration of 456 days (sampling rate 50 Hz). The expenses of the lithium packages stongly depend on the number of ordered units.

Number of cells Capacity (50 Hz)     Price / unit Configuration
      48        121 days 1100-1200 EUR         small
      96        243 days 1800-2100 EUR         small
    144 (96+48)        365 days 2600-3000 EUR         large
    180 (96+84)        456 days 3200-3600 EUR         large



Several transports are necessary for an OBS long-term deployment. The OBS, the consumables and the auxiliary equipment (tools, deck units, GPS, laptop) are shipped in 20' maritime containers before the deplopyment. 12 OBS plus auxiliary equipment fit into one container. After the deployment cruise, the auxiliary equipment and eventually the empty transport boxes must be sent back to Bremerhaven, mostly as packaged goods. Befor the second cruise to recover the OBS, the equipment is shipped to the starting harbour, after the cruise the OBS are send back to AWI in containers.


Long-term deployment: 24 OBS, one year deployment, two cruises each 14 days, two technicians per cruise

Anchor / small parts 24 OBS x   500 EUR    12000 EUR
Batteries 24 OBS x 2600 EUR    62400 EUR
Insurance 24 OBS x 2000 EUR    48000 EUR
Mob / Demob 24 OBS x   900 EUR    21600 EUR
Transports 2 x 2 container + 2 x packaged goods    20000 EUR
Technicians 2 technicians x 2 cruises x 14 days x 550 EUR    30800 EUR
Sum (without travel expenses and VAT) 194800 EUR