Discovering Submersibles

QUICK FACTS: TRITON 1000/2

  • Two Triton submersibles are named Nemo and Nomad
  • Pilots: 4
  • Depth capabilities: 305m / 1000ft
  • Crew: one pilot and one researcher
  • Operational duration: 10hours
  • Life Support: 10 hours main oxygen at 200 bar / 96 hours reserve oxygen at 200 bar
  • Speed: 3knots (max)
  • Dry weight: 6,800lbs  / 3,100kgs
  • Length: 10.5ft / 3.2m length. Width: 8.2ft / 2.5m. Height: 6.1ft /1.85m height
  • LED External Lights: 4 forward, 1 rear, 1 down
  • Equipment
    • Visual transect and documentation: cameras: 1080i, 360, stereoscopic.
    • Sampling: sediment corers and Niskin bottles, bioboxes, manuipulator arms.
    • Sensors: CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth).
    • Mapping & Tracking: transponders (tracking), sonar (mapping) with multibeam data for bathymetric.



SUBMERSIBLE EXPLORATION OF THE DEEP OCEAN

Exploration means observation, the first step in the scientific process, that brings knowledge and understanding. The rugged terrain of complex deep ocean habitats, along with the strong currents that often surround them, determine that manned submersibles (or ‘HOVs’ – human operated vehicles) are one of the most effective scientific tools.

We’re deploying two of the most cutting-edge new submersibles adapted with the latest scientific and filming equipment. The latest fully transparent spherical pressure hulls provide a revolutionary new visual and 3D perspective on the environment, critical for scientific observation and filming.

Sensors for measuring conductivity, temperature, depth (CTD), manipulator arms, suction systems, corers and bioboxes for sampling, HD, stereoscopic and 360 cameras with pan/tilt and laser scaling, all combine to provide an integrated and pioneering suite of equipment to explore, research and document the deep.

Crushing pressure, unpredictable current systems, entanglement in ghost nets, catastrophic equipment failure, or of course pilot error, are just some of the risks of entering the hostile environment of the deep ocean.

Read ‘GO DEEP’: Mission Director, Oliver Steeds’ article on submersible diving and exploration - https://avauntmagazine.com/go-deep

HISTORY OF SUBMERSIBLES

Definitions:

Submarine: a ship capable of submerging and operating under water.

Submersible: a ship capable of submerging and operating under water but relies on a support facility or vessel for replenishment of power and breathing gases.

“By breaking the seal of the surface, penetrating the mirror that reflects the sky, and entering the watery inner space, man will reap a bountiful and incredible harvest in the decades ahead. We are to speak of conquering nature. If man has a weakness, it is this vanity. The best we can hope to do is to understand nature and obey it”.

Jacques Piccard

The first manned dives to the deep ocean took place only 85 years ago in 1930 when William Beebe and Otis Barton descended below 200m in a bathysphere near Bermuda.

In 1960, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh descended 7miles down in the Trieste to become the first people to full ocean depth. It was codenamed ‘Project Nekton’. It would not be until March 2012 that man finally returned, this time in a one-person submersible piloted by film-director James Cameron.

Since 1960, several governments and university scientists have begun scientific research programmes in the deep ocean. However, relative to the size and significance of the deep ocean ecosystem, the world’s  submersible capabilities have far to go.

The Chinese’ Jiaolong is the world deepest diving submersible with a 7000m capability carrying 3 people. Other government owned submersibles include: Alvin (USA, 4500m, 3-person), Nautile (France, 6000m, 3-person), Mir 1 & Mir 2 (Russia, 6000m, 3-person), Shinkai (Japan, 6500m, 3-person).