Overview On January 23_ 1960 the manned bathyscaphe Trieste

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On January 23, 1960 the manned bathyscaphe Trieste descended to the bottom of the
Marianas Trench, some 7 miles below the surface to the deepest part of the ocean. Since that
time, a handful of submersible craft have been built that are capable of achieving depths of
1000 to 6500 meters. None have been built that can provide full working access to the world’s
oceans. Russia, Japan, and France have a few deep submersibles between them. All require
dedicated “mother ships” and the “Alvin”, the US flagship submarine can only get to about 65%
of the ocean. How would it be to climb only 60 to 90% of the way to the top of Mt. Everest?
Unacceptable to any mountaineer one might ask. Yet we continue to design and build craft that
can only do part of the job, despite remarkable advances in materials and power technologies.
Building upon more than 40 years of research and incorporating the best of new battery and
materials technologies, DOER proposes to build two submersible crafts called “Deepsearch”
which will permit full working access to all parts of the ocean.
A brief comparison of deep submersibles past and present

Engineering Brainstorming notes: What Was (Trieste)

   •   Man sphere – small, steel. Corrosion issues, Tiny View Port, Old technology.
   •   Dive Method – Trim negative and drop weight (shot) at deep to neutral. Drop more
       weight to surface. SLOW. More time in decent/ascent than in dive.
   •   Power – lead acid – a technology Ben Franklin tinkered with and Gaston Plante
       developed in 1859
   •   View Ports – Conical acrylic. Very Small and extremely stressed at greater depths.
   •   Buoyancy – massive diesel/AV gas bladder. This was not a very environmentally friendly
   •   Science– A brief 20 minute visit, and that was basically it. Arguable scientific value for
       the effort
   •   Humanity – well, at least we DID make it to the bottom, if only briefly.

Engineering Brainstorming Notes: Was/Is (Alvin/Alvin II)

   •   Man sphere-Titanium, a 1960/70 technology. Manufacturing is still expensive and
       requires special tooling considering age of technology. Better corrosion resistance than
       steel, but not necessarily better strength to weight than Trieste materials.
   •   Depth: 4500m (6500m planned for Alvin II)
   •   Dive Method – Trim negative and drop weight (plates) at depth to neutral. Drop more
       weight to surface. SLOW. More time in decent/ascent than in dive. No change from
   •   Power – lead acid…again. Technology is too heavy and limited to drive submersible to
       depth. Also requires support ship infrastructure
   •   View Ports – Conical Acrylic. -Small and extremely stressed at greater depths. No
       advance since to 60’s.
   •   Buoyancy – Alvin II Syntactic Foam. –A 1970’s technology. Alvin 1 uses liquid mercury
       for trimming. Environmental concerns led designers to move away from that with Alvin II
   •   Science – one of the most utilized and successful scientific submersibles – even with
       high cost and inefficient dive profiles. Still, not full ocean capable. No night diving.
   •   Humanity – Again, a valuable science and rescue asset and strong source of pride for
       US Science and Navy. But Japan’s Shinkai goes deeper. Alvin II may match Shinkai’s
       depth rating but only one sub, reduces public outreach as compared to MIR.

Engineering Brainstorming Notes: What is the Future (Deepsearch)

   •   Man sphere – Glass Sphere or Ceramic hull with glass viewport(s). Manufacturability a
       major area to investigate. Need to advance engineering of glass use. .
   •   Dive Method: Plane form – ‘fly’ or drive the vessel down. 1+ hour to deepest bottom vs.
       4+hrs. This is the reason for hydrodynamic hull fairings. Bring Center of Gravity close to
       Center of Buoyancy, tip nose down. Military subs have been doing this from the
       beginning, but it has not been done with research subs due to power constraints. Leave
       only some turbulence. Leave nothing behind. Sub is neutral so it can explore like classic
       sub for more extended time but with great reduction in transit time.
   •   Power – Advanced battery chemistry or even fuel cell. Advances have been made in
       submersible forms, but at present, this technology is not being pushed to research subs.
   •   Split power systems- High to low power and mission specific banks.
   •   View Ports – Fused Silica, or Grown sapphire for larger ports. Or, the Holy Grail, a
       complete glass sphere. This would be a big technology push. Challenge: Can glass
       (borosilicate or fused silica) be used – with modern glass technology, the required
       precision surfaces can be ground – but MUST be well modeled, designed and tested.
   •   Buoyancy – ceramics or hybrid ceramic syntactic, newly accepted technology. Any gains
       reduce overall vessel displacement allowing reduction in vehicle size and increase in
       depth. Trimming by adjusting heavy power cells relative to CoB, utilizing proven
       hydraulic technology - an alternate to mercury
   •   Scientific Benefit – the ability to go to full ocean depth, with better dive profiles to yield
       much more science in shorter time. More bottom time and more data and images per
       hour of bottom time. This is a tool which will advance our understanding of planetary
       functions, including climate change and geological activity in the deep sea.
   •   Humanity – Finally able to reliably reach any point on in earth’s oceans. Furthering
       technology. Possible applications to outer space and moon exploration. This is a world
       asset – with contributions to science, technology, rescue where there are currently NO

Deep submersibles in operation today:

Country                  Submersible             Depth Rating           Crew
Japan                    Shinkai                 6500m                  3 (2 pilots 1 scientist)
Russia                   Mir I and II            6000m                  3 (Tandem Diving)
France                   Nautile                 6000m                  3
USA                      Alvin                   4500m                  3
                  Note: All above submersibles require dedicated mother ships

Over the course of deep submersible history, the driving force has been for the military, but with
some benefit to science and exploration. The funding for building deep submersibles has come
primarily from the Governments of the USA, France, Russia, and Japan.

In the US for example, the Alvin submersible is a US Navy asset but is operated by Woods Hole
for science programs. While Navy funds paid for the build, grants and donations help to support
the science programs under Woods Hole. The support vessel is a UNOLS (University-National
Oceanographic Laboratory System) ship and is bound by numerous operational regulations and
constraints. Additionally, Alvin is one of the few submersibles that will not dive at night,
effectively halving its diving (and science) potential.

The result is a system that moves slowly and one that is typically not as progressive as one
would imagine in terms of utilizing cutting edge engineering and technology. Even today Alvin
uses liquid mercury for ballast. While lead shot is no longer used, it does leave behind steel
plates on the ocean floor as evidence of every dive. While it is widely accepted that there are
better and cleaner ways to operate, the process to get there is too slow and burdensome to
easily implement.

In 2004 a document entitled, Future Needs in Deep Submergence Science Occupied and
Unoccupied Vehicles in Basic Ocean Research by the Committee on Future Needs in Deep
Submergence Science, National Research Council. The Committee recommended that build of
a replacement for Alvin be undertaken. With a budget of 25 million dollars, Lockheed Martin is
preparing to commence with build of a submersible, not all that different from Alvin I.

Bear in mind that they were restrained by design by committee, design to fit existing vessel,
design to fit existing government science regulations.

Even now with a new replacement Alvin design in place one can see that improvements have
been modest and constrained by a host of design criteria including the existing support vessel
parameters. Lockheed, the juggernaut of government contractors, has been selected to
implement the build. With all of the time and expense being devoted to the Alvin II, the US will
still only have a submersible equal in depth to Japan’s 1987 accomplishment and we will still be
leaving a substantial volume of the ocean inaccessible to science and exploration.

What has been done to date?

For the Deepsearch submersible design, DOER began by investigating what has worked for full
ocean depth devices on a small scale, designing and building manipulator arms, lamps, and
pressure housings of various kinds. We have developed methods and strategies for extreme
tunnel inspections in excess of 16 miles requiring utilization of innovative power technology.
Oil filled electronics, hydraulic valve packs, pressure housings and seals have all been
investigated with an eye towards full ocean depth operations.

DOER then undertook the build of an ROV for bore hole deployment in Antarctica. This three
year project led to a rigorous investigation of advanced materials capable of withstanding
extreme swings in temperature. Conversely, while working on advanced life support systems in
the tropics, we needed to find ways and means to dissipate heat, designing and implementing a
viable solution in less than ten days time. The deck of a ship or a shipping container can have
extremely temperature variations and cycles. The deepest parts of the ocean are frigid. Seeps
and vents can yield both heat and pressure. Our materials selection must be well planned.
Bringing all of our operational experience to bear, from the coldest places on earth to the heat of
Texas in summer, we have well learned how to engineer for success in extreme environments.

Our field operations have involved deploying submersibles, ROVs, and a host of other
underwater equipment from a wide variety of platforms including basic barges and pontoon craft
through a host of Navy, NOAA, UNOLS and foreign Government vessels, oil field support
vessels, survey ships and up to the largest of the private Mega Yachts. We adapt, overcome,
and innovate. The beauty of the Deepsearch design is that it is not predicated by a mother ship.
The submersible is designed to fit into a standard 40 ft. shipping container, thus could be
deployed from a variety of ships. To meet the criteria of being a world asset, Deepsearch
should be able to be deployed from a large ship of opportunity.
In some cases it is more environmentally sensible to ship via ocean cargo to where a suitable
ship is located as opposed to steaming on a dedicated vessel half way around the world.

During the five year “Sustainable Seas” project, DOER utilized more than a dozen different
platforms and trained more than a hundred scientists to operate the submersibles. Since that
time we have continued working with small submersibles in science applications – listening to
what works and what does not for their sampling, lighting, and recording needs. We have
looked for giant squid in New Zealand, deep water corals in Hawaii, investigated old oil leaking
wrecks right off of our coast, and even Hitler’s gold in alpine lakes. -All the time thinking,
listening, and learning how we could achieve the build of Deepsearch.

The People

In addition to the core DOER team which includes Tony Lawson, Ian Griffith, Rob Kraft, Liz
Taylor, Rudy Schlepp, and Robin Best, the project is complemented by a project manager, a
team of 5 engineers, 7 technicians, and a few key advisors. By keeping this list short, it can
remain effective. It is not a design by committee, it is a hands on team tailored to get the job

Why now? Why hasn't this been done before?

The ability to have reliable working access to the oceans has remained unfulfilled over the
course of human history. Since 1960 when the Trieste touched bottom briefly, technology has
advanced by leaps and bounds. We have kept abreast of changing technology and
improvements such as the battery improvements to the Shinkai 6500. While silver oxide/zinc
batteries were originally used, they changed to lithium ion batteries in 2004. The rationales
included longer shelf, improved cost performance, smaller footprint and reduced maintenance

DOER proposes an intensive nine month investigation and design period to fully determine what
the costs and materials for incorporating advanced technology within our timeframe will be.
Some key advances that will permit DOER to build Deepsearch today where we could not have
undertaken it even 5 years ago include:

   •   Ceramic spheres for buoyancy (vs. syntactic foam). Advances have been developed in
       last two years. These materials will permit a smaller vehicle with greater depth capability.
   •   Control processes for materials- oven, curing, etc. for some materials was not
       commercially utilized before
   •   Battery chemistry and technology and Fuel cells (see below) - would need a larger team
       to fully research. While some have even considered portable reactor (used on satellites)
       (NR-1 was nuclear powered) this not high on the list due to potential of a leak and heavy
       government regulation of these materials.
   •   Aluminum oxide fuel cells- although under high pressure w/ sea water might lead to
       uncontrolled dissipation of energy. While a larger team would be required to review and
       push this technology ahead, it could yield very large technology gain.
   •   Processing - modeling/simulation (FEA - finite element analysis, CAD, CAM) These tools
       are now cost effective and available across all levels of manufacturing and design
       companies, not limited to a select few big firms.
   •   Electric motors - new brushless motor w/ computer control (not available before). IGBT
       and MOSFET motor controls = a 55 lb motor today vs. 500 lb motor a few years ago.
   •   Cost of materials – titanium, while expensive is much cheaper to work with now. It can
       be machined with computer controlled machine tools like DOER now has.
   •   Glass technology – Advancements in the science of brittle materials and fracture
       mechanics lend a much better understanding to the use of glass and ceramics for
Why the streamlined look?

The Deepsearch shape has been compared to that of an Orca or Tuna. Both of these species
have been called the tigers/wolves of the sea. Fast and sleek, they move through the water
with efficiency. The Deepsearch design is just that, hydrodynamic and efficient in water. One of
the biggest complaints among scientists is the time it takes to descend and ascend. Four to six
hours is typical for most research submersibles operating today. That means only a couple
hours on bottom in most situations. Because Deepsearch uses hydrodynamics to good
advantage and couples this with a fixed buoyancy system, this transit time is greatly reduced.
Engineering projections forecast dramatically reducing this down by 50 to 75%, greatly
extending the time available on bottom. Far from being a rocket ride down and back, the fixed
buoyancy allows one to stop mid water if so desired and then again to descent or ascent mode.
Best of all, Deepsearch leaves nothing behind – no steel plates, no lead shot, only a light
footprint when it touches bottom.

   •   hydrodynamic – Deepsearch can drive to bottom - versus falling/sinking to bottom
   •   1+ hr to bottom and back versus 4 to 6+ hours each way. The form also allows one to
       stop mid water without expending unnecessary energy on station keeping and allows
       extended bottom time versus extended transit time.
   •   Separate power systems for propulsion versus mission specific tasks
   •   Optimized propeller – efficient in moving craft through the water column

Related facts

   •   manipulator arms, lights, cameras, etc. already exist and have been tested to full ocean
       depth in pressure chambers
   •   48" internal diameter of pressure sphere minimum is possible using proven technology
   •   6 viewing portals (conical) minimum using proven technology can be built today
   •   crew of two or three

Potential for real innovation

DOER can undertake the build a classic design today with a fully proven bill of materials that will
get the job of reaching the deepest part of the ocean done. However, the goal is to explore the
potential for truly innovative solutions but with a time cap of nine months. MBARI learned the
hard way with the ROV Tiburon, spending more than 12 years on design and build of a craft that
was obsolete by the time it was completed. Technology moves fast and our goal is to capitalize
on that with an eye towards evolving with technology yet to come. Key areas for further

   •   View ports: bigger is better but not at the expense of safety
   •   Battery technology: Fully investigate new battery technologies from Lithium chemistries
       to fuel cells.
   •   Man Sphere: Can we make it larger to accommodate 3 and still keep the craft of a
       reasonable size?
   •   Ceramics/Glass: How and where can we use these materials to our full advantage for
       flotation and view ports?
While time now is too short to achieve a full build in time for the 50th Anniversary of Trieste
touching bottom, we can achieve significant milestones by that date in 2010.

First nine months: Investigation of advanced materials running in parallel with core solid
modeling of design using proven materials.

Milestone 1: Based on the 9 month R&D effort, lock down design and commence with build of
test man spheres. Undertake power/load tests with selected systems

Milestone 2: Commence build of Deepsearch man spheres, flotation, frames, and sub
assemblies. Order key third party components and long lead time items.

Milestone 3: Begin major build assembly.

Milestone 4: Completion and shallow water testing in prep for full ocean depth dives.

How much will it cost?

The dream of full working access to all parts of the ocean has continued unfulfilled over the past
40+ years since Trieste touched bottom ever so briefly. In the late 1980s with the build of small
one person craft such as Deep Rover, there was renewed vigor and desire to develop small,
one person submersibles capable of “buddy diving” to full ocean depth. Discussions led to a
special edition of the Marine Technology Society Journal in 1990 devoted entirely to “A Deepest
Ocean Presence”. The special issue included a collection of papers on both the scientific
rationale for, political implications of, and engineering challenges involved in building for full
ocean depth. Now, almost 20 years later, while we do have the benefit of that research, and we
do have advances in materials/technology not available then, we still do not have a vehicle
anywhere in the world capable of this objective. Over the years, budget numbers have been as
varied as the designs themselves.

From $10 million for an all volunteer effort that fizzled in the mid 1990s to “dare-devil stunt” style
– touch the deepest point at 15 million, upwards of $40 million for a design that would fully
investigate and incorporate every cutting edge concept known to date. As a part of our
research phase, we will look at the costs versus the benefits of the various materials,
processes, and testing. While we don’t know exactly what it will cost, we do know that
Deepsearch can be produced efficiently because:

   •   DOER is an efficient operation and has learned to incorporate off the shelf and modified
       off the shelf technology into the most advanced underwater designs to date.

   •   We are not constrained by a single mother ship

   •   We have the existing facility and manufacturing capacity to do the ancillary fabrication
       and all integration work in house
   •   We have investigated multiple disciplines and learned from those who have provided
       their input over the years so we would be building to required objectives that would
       generate funds to off set operational costs

   •   We have substantial in house engineering experience, along with institutional and
       commercial resources to assist us to rapidly determine and assess fact from fiction on
       materials and battery technology.

Another way to look at it is, what will it cost us to continue down the path of not understanding
our oceans; our planet’s life support system, of not having the tools to gain the knowledge?

DOER’s goal is a long range vision of working efficiently to build a World asset to enable full
working access to all parts of the ocean. We have the team and advisors needed to make this a
reality. With private partnership, we can undertake the task systematically without the burden of
Government/Institutional protocols and overhead. While we will by all means involve these
groups, we won’t be constrained by them. We are rapidly approaching the 50 year anniversary
of the Trieste dive. Wouldn’t it be nice to have completed the R&D and be on a critical path to
building Deepsearch with tangible milestones completed by January 23, 2010?

Why not build just one?

Some have described the cost to build one sub as almost the same as building two because so
much of the expense is in engineering, set up, tooling and so on. In the long run, the benefits of
two greatly outweigh the “savings” of building one.

   •   One sub can support the other: self rescue
   •   One sub can film the other – much more compelling to the public
   •   The subs can be tooled for separate but related tasks on a single dive maximizing ship
       time – example one can be sampling while the other directs lights over the work area.
   •   Building two capitalizes on the engineering required to build one
   •   Having two enables both scientists and non scientists to dive at same time

Beyond this, one must consider the public outreach effect of one versus two. Most people
would not be able to recognize Alvin, Nautile, or Shinkai on site save for the name plastered on
the hull. However, the MIRs are recognized by a wide audience, if not by name, then by “those
Russian Subs that they used on Titanic”. To truly be that World Asset with global impact, two
subs are essential to capture the public’s attention and to inspire a new generation of ocean
explorers and engineers.

.Why not just build a robot?

The simplest explanation is that building a robot and a sub requires two different design paths.
By building two at the same time, maximum value is achieved. Deep Workers normally dive as
pairs. The Russian MIRs dive as pairs, Deep Rovers, pairs.

In addition to requiring a dedicated mother ship, logistically, the umbilical cable is the weakest
yet most expensive link with any ROV. When one thinks of basically a 7 mile extension cord
and the physics of managing that from the deck of a moving ship with currents and other factors
in play, the problems become clear. The one robotic vehicle Kaiko that approached the deepest
point in the ocean was lost when the umbilical was cut during a typhoon. Advances in fiber
optic technology have allowed us to build ROVs for extreme tunnel penetrations, up to 16 miles
but these cables are designed to work within a very specific environment. While a robot could
be built to achieve full ocean depth, it fails to spark the human imagination and lacks the all
important direct human experience.

The difference between watching images transmitted up a miles long umbilical cable to a video
monitor and directly seeing the Subsea terrain and the creatures that live there with the human
eye is the difference between sending out a space probe and walking on the moon. Unlike
space exploration, deep ocean exploration virtually guarantees new discoveries and life forms
on almost every dive. Both have value and complement one another. Yet, nothing compares to
the direct human experience.

Some testimonial examples:

“There is absolutely nothing, NOTHING, like dropping in a submersible to the depths of the sea;
depths that exceed scuba and the “easily” accessed reaches of man. A submersible can
literally transport you to new worlds, bizarre worlds, filled with creatures that appear out of our
dreams – or nightmares. Here, in an incredibly pressurized cold inky-black world, one becomes
a spaceman, encased in their marine spaceship, drifting through a realm that allows you
opportunities rarely if ever offered on land. Where else on Earth, for instance, can you go and
be virtually guaranteed to see animals – or entire communities – that no one has ever seen or
imagined? Creatures that are huge, made of jelly, communicate with light, eat prey 10 times
their size, migrate en masse creating layers so thick sound will not penetrate, or evolve and
thrive completely without the need for sunlight – or carbon for that matter. To see this
personally, from the safe haven of a submersible, is a life-changing experience. While ROVs
have their purposes, nothing can replace the personal experience of actually going there – to
the deep sea – and becoming immersed in an alien world first hand”. Michael V. deGruy,

“The first deep dive I made was in the single-person submersible Wasp. When I turned out the
lights and saw all the bioluminescence that seemed to be everywhere I looked I was hooked.
The experience changed the course of my career.” Dr. Edith Widder, 2006 MacArthur Fellow,
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

“Deep Rover was designed for inspecting offshore oil rigs, but it has mainly been used for
exploring and research. With Deep Rover, we found a great many more animals in the ocean
than we could have measured based on conventional methods like dragging nets. The nets
under sample what we thought we were catching reliably. When you’re down there you can see
that the water column is an important habitat for gelatinous animals, which are very fragile but
abundant. If you drag a net through you turn them into mush. You can’t tell how many or what
kind they were.” Bruce H. Robinson, Senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research
Supporting Addenda

A brief history of Trieste 1960:

In the Trieste the pressure sphere provided just enough room for two persons. It provided
completely independent life support, with a closed-circuit rebreather system similar to that used
in modern spacecraft and spacesuits: oxygen was provided from pressure cylinders, and carbon
dioxide was scrubbed from breathing air by being passed through canisters of soda-lime. Power
was provided by batteries.

Trieste was fitted with a new pressure sphere, manufactured by the Krupp Steel Works of
Essen, Germany, in three finely-machined sections (an equatorial ring and two caps). To
withstand the high pressure of 1.25 metric tons per cm² (110 MPa) at the bottom of Challenger
Deep, the sphere's walls were 12.7 cm (5 inches) thick (it was overdesigned to withstand
considerably more than the rated pressure). The sphere weighed 13 metric tons in air and 8
metric tons in water (giving it an average specific gravity of 13/(13-8) = 2.6 times that of sea
water). The float was necessary because the sphere was dense: it was not possible to design a
sphere large enough to hold a person which would withstand the necessary pressures, yet also
have metal walls thin enough for the sphere to be neutrally-buoyant. Gasoline was chosen as
the float fluid because it was lighter than water, yet relatively incompressible even at extreme
pressure, thus retaining its buoyant properties.

Observation of the sea outside the craft was conducted directly by eye, via a single highly-
tapered cone-shaped block of Lucite (Plexiglas) plastic, the only transparent substance
identified which would withstand the needed pressure, at the design hull thickness. Outside
illumination for the craft was provided by quartz arc-light bulbs, which proved able to withstand
the over-1000 atmosphere pressure without any modification.

Nine tons of iron pellet shot were taken on the craft as ballast, both to speed the descent and
allow ascent, since the extreme pressures would not have permitted air-ballast tanks to be
refilled with gas at depth. This additional weight was held actively in place at the throats of two
hopper-like ballast silos by electromagnets, so that in case of an electric failure the craft would
immediately rise to the surface.

Transported to the Naval Electronics Laboratory's facility in San Diego, the craft was extensively
modified and then used in a series of deep-submergence tests in the Pacific Ocean during the
next few years, including a dive to the Mariana Trench, the deepest known part of the ocean, in
January 1960.
Trieste departed San Diego on October 5, 1959 on the way to Guam by the freighter Santa
Maria to participate in Project Nekton — a series of very deep dives in the Mariana Trench.

On January 23, 1960, Trieste reached the ocean floor in the Challenger Deep (the deepest
southern part of the Mariana Trench), carrying Jacques Piccard (son of Auguste) and Lieutenant
Don Walsh, USN. This was the first time a vessel, manned or unmanned, had reached the
deepest point in the Earth's oceans. The onboard systems indicated a depth of 11 521 m
(37,800 ft), although this was later revised to 10 916 m (35,813 ft), and more accurate
measurements made in 1995 have found the Challenger Deep to be slightly shallower, at
10 911 m (35,798 ft).

The descent took 4 hours and 48 minutes before reaching the ocean floor. After passing 9,000
meters one of the outer Plexiglas window panes cracked, shaking the entire vessel. The two
men spent barely twenty minutes at the ocean floor, eating chocolate bars to keep their
strength. The temperature in the cabin was a mere 7°C (45°F) at the time. While on the bottom
at maximum depth, Piccard and Walsh (unexpectedly) regained the ability to communicate with
the surface ship, USS Wandank II ATA-204, using a sonar/hydrophone voice communications
system. At a speed of almost a mile per second (about five times the speed of sound in air), it
took about 7 seconds for a voice message to travel from the craft to the surface ship, and
another 7 seconds for answers to return.

While on the bottom, Piccard and Walsh observed small soles and flounders swimming away,
proving that certain vertebrate life can withstand all existing extremes of pressure in earth's
oceans. They noted that the floor of the Challenger Deep consisted of "diatomaceous ooze".

After leaving the bottom, they undertook their ascent, which required 3 hours, 15 minutes. Since
then, no manned craft has ever returned to the Challenger Deep. A Japanese robotic craft Kaiko
reached the bottom of the Challenger Deep in 1995. This craft was lost at sea in 2003, leaving
no craft in existence capable of reaching these most extreme ocean depths.
Source Wikipedia
A brief history of Alvin I

WHOI operates the U.S. Navy-owned Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin for the national
oceanographic community. Built in 1964 as the world’s first deep-ocean submersible, Alvin has
made more than 4,200 dives. It can reach nearly 63 percent of the global ocean floor.

The sub's most famous exploits include locating a lost hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean
Sea in 1966, exploring the first known hydrothermal vent sites in the 1970s, and surveying the
wreck of RMS Titanic in 1986.

Alvin carries two scientists and a pilot as deep as 4,500 meters (about three miles) and each
dive lasts six to ten hours. Using six reversible thrusters, Alvin can hover, maneuver in rugged
topography, or rest on the sea floor. Diving and surfacing is done by simple gravity and
buoyancy—water ballast and expendable steel weights sink the sub, and that extra weight is
dropped when the researchers need to rise back up to the surface.

The sub is equipped with still and video cameras, and scientists can also view the environment
through three 0-centimeter (12-inch) viewports. Because there is no light in the deep, the
submersible must carry quartz iodide and metal halide lights to illuminate the seafloor. Alvin has
two robotic arms that can manipulate instruments, and its basket can carry up to 680 kilograms
(1,500 pounds) of tools and seafloor samples.
Though it is the world’s oldest research submersible, Alvin remains state-of-the-art due to
numerous reconstructions made over the years. (For instance, a new robotic arm was installed
in 2006.) The sub is completely disassembled every three to five years so engineers can inspect
every last bolt, filter, pump, valve, circuit, tube, wire, light, and battery—all of which have been
replaced at least once in the sub’s lifetime.

The sub is named for Allyn Vine, a WHOI engineer and geophysicist who helped pioneer deep
submergence research and technology. Source WHOI
In 2008, WHOI announced that replacement Alvin would only dive to 4500m, the same as old Alvin due
to concerns with the personnel sphere.
From the NOAA Ocean Explorer web site:

NOAA Supports Young Explorers in Seafloor to
Mountaintop to Outer Space Challenge
By Christine Patrick and Fred Gorell
NOAA’s Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) is inspiring a new generation of
explorers to discover the deep ocean. The Tampa Bay Chapter of SCUBAnauts International
teamed with HURL to achieve the deep-sea portion of their “Operation: Deep Climb” mission to
carry their banner and the Explorer’s Club flag from the depths of the ocean to outer space.

This trip has changed my life...Before this, I had never considered
exploration, research, marine sciences or the military field. I have a new
confidence in myself. – Anna Moran

In October, HURL pilot Max Cremer and HURL Operations Director Terry Kerby took
SCUBAnauts Collin Olson and Anna Moran down 1,300 feet to visit the wreck of the historic
Japanese WWII midget submarine off Pearl Harbor.

Before boarding the submersibles, SCUBAnauts Collin Olson and Anna Moran display the Operation: Deep
Climb banner and Explorer’s Club flag #61, with HURL Operations Director Terry Kerby looking on. Credit:
WLP 2007

Olson, Moran, and seven other young SCUBAnauts also took their flag and banner on a three-
day climb to the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain on earth when measured
from its seafloor base to summit.

Operation: Deep Climb will conclude when the space shuttle Endeavor enters space. The
SCUBAnauts will witness the launch, and will watch as Mission Commander Dom Gorie unfolds
the Explorer’s Club flag in the space shuttle and explains the importance of inner and outer
space exploration.

With this expedition, the SCUBAnauts issue a call to other youths to push themselves into
unfamiliar territory and reap the rewards of overcoming challenges. With Operation: Deep
Climb, the SCUBAnauts set several records, including becoming the youngest viewers of the
sunken Japanese midget sub and the first youth group to receive a permit to hike from the sea
to the summit of Mauna Kea.

SCUBAnauts International, founded in 2001, uses SCUBA to teach leadership, earth sciences,
engineering, mathematics and research skills to the next generation of scientists and engineers.
All the members, aged 12-18, are science divers-in-training.

HURL saw the expedition as a chance to use the Pisces IV and V submersibles as teaching tools
for the SCUBAnauts, and provided the diving experience at cost. Kerby said that both Moran
and Olson were “truly in awe of the capability to observe and move freely on the bottom in the
alien world of the deep sea.”

Olson recounted just that feeling when he first stepped into the Pisces V, where “it looked and
felt as if I were in a space shuttle preparing for lift-off.”

(Left) The Pisces V catches its first glimpse of the sunken Japanese midget sub discovered by HURL in
August 2002; (Right) The Pisces V takes a photo of the Pisces IV as it finishes its descent to 1,300 feet.
Credit: WLP 2007

During the dive, the Pisces IV and Pisces V submersibles employed sonar and located the
Japanese midget submarine about a half hour after descending.

“Suddenly, the stern side of the midget sub was staring straight at us,” Olson remembered. “I
thought about the actions that occurred the day it was sunk, and the fact that the two crew
members of the midget sub are still entombed inside.”

HURL’s August 2002 discovery of the Japanese midget sub verified the account by the crew of
the USS Ward they had seen and sunk a mini submarine prior to the air attack on Pearl Harbor.
“The shot which sank this submarine was the first shot fired in WWII in the Pacific between the
Americans and Japanese,” HURL Acting Director John Wiltshire explained

SCUBAnaut Collin Olson prepares to exit Pisces V after six hours of deep-sea exploration with HURL pilots.
Credit: WLP 2007

After the SCUBAnauts had viewed the midget sub, Kerby and Cremer piloted the research
submarines into deeper water. En route to their lowest depth of 1,800 feet, the crews saw a
deep-sea shark and an octopus, and picked up WWII-era ceramic mugs and soda bottles with
the submersibles’ robotic arms. After six cramped hours in the 60-degree Pisces IV and V, they

“This trip has changed my life,” said Moran. “Before this, I had never considered exploration,
research, marine sciences or the military field. I have a new confidence in myself.”

Olson said the experience gave him a greater appreciation and respect for the work carried out
by scientists, submersible pilots, and explorers, and the risks taken in doing so.

The SCUBAnauts made an impression on Wiltshire, too, who remarked that they were “keen
high school students eager to explore the challenging world of the deep ocean.”

The expedition had been years in the making. Wildlife film producer and Explorer’s Club
member Mark Fowler proposed Operation: Deep Climb to the SCUBAnauts in November 2006,
having conceived of the idea several years before.

As the plan took shape, the SCUBAnauts sought the advice of Office of National Marine
Sanctuaries Director Daniel J. Basta, who they had met through research dives in the Florida
Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Basta suggested that the group contact Wiltshire and Kerby,
who had the expertise and equipment for the deep-sea part of the mission. The SCUBAnauts
also arranged for instruction in Hawaii by NOAA maritime historian Hans Van Tilburg and
NOAA maritime archaeologist Kelly Gleason.

On behalf of the Operation: Deep Climb expedition, Fowler applied for an official Explorer’s
Club flag. The group was awarded flag #61, which, as one of the only 202 flags loaned to
groundbreaking explorers across the world, has been traveling since 1935. Fowler and his
company, Wild Life Productions, are documenting the nine SCUBAnauts’ expedition with plans
to turn the footage into a television show.

“The SCUBAnauts are legitimate young scientists and advanced divers who have been doing
real research in Florida,” Fowler said. “They are doing what most kids dream of doing –
becoming the world’s next generation of spokespeople, scientists, and explorers.”

In October 2008, the SCUBAnauts plan to travel back to Hawaii for more dives with HURL, and
hope to view undersea volcanic activity and the base of Mauna Kea.

Reflecting on the unique expedition, Kerby said, “I’d advise any group leader to get young
people directly involved in science and discovery in any way they can, because I believe those
experiences will certainly be more valuable, and will even be more exciting, than the best of
video games.”
From the Navy News:

NR-1 Arrives in Texas For Gulf Exploration

NavyNewsStand                               Story                     Number:                         NNS070228-12

Release Date: 2/28/2007 4:44:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Shelander, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Atlantic

GALVESTON, Texas (NNS) -- Nuclear Research Submarine NR-1, towed by Submarine Support Vessel (SSV)

Carolyn Chouest, pulled into Galveston, Texas, on Feb. 25 to take part in an expedition to survey the Flower Garden

Banks National Marine Sanctuary and other sites of interest in the Gulf of Mexico.

“This mission is going to be exciting and full of new challenges for the Submarine NR-1, and the crew of SSV Carolyn

Chouest,” said Lt. Paul M. Kutia, operations officer for NR-1. “We’ve been preparing our people to make sure this

mission is going to be a full success.”

The Navy will work in collaboration with The Institute for Exploration, the University of Rhode Island, Immersion

Presents, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program to
broadcast their findings over live satellite.

“During our initial visit to Galveston they’re going to be loading on scientists and various equipment, including a

production van that’s going to be on the back deck, which is going to send live feeds out to various colleges,

universities and aquariums,” explained Kutia.

NR-1 and the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Argus will use high definition cameras to record biological and

geological features of the ocean floor and help archeologists locate and examine where shorelines may have been in

the past. These sunken shorelines may hold relics and clues of ancient people.

“I think it’s a great experience,” said Storekeeper 1st Class (SS) Brett Adams, Supply Department leading petty

officer for NR-1. “Not very often does the civilian world get to see what submarines do, most of our missions are done

military intelligence-wise and you don’t hear about it once it’s done. This experience is going to be a live broadcast

aboard NR-1 and actually show everybody a little bit of what the submarine force is capable of and what we do.”
Aside from the scientific research, the Flower Garden Banks expedition will also showcase the Navy’s capabilities to

a younger audience.

“The NR-1 being involved gives the Navy tremendous exposure to a younger public,” said Jon H. Skoglund, Merchant

Marine captain of the SSV Carolyn Chouest. “Kids growing up now don’t necessarily think that military service has

any other options other than combat and I think this opens their eyes up to a lot of different options and a lot of neat

things you can do in the military.”

Nuclear Research Submarine NR-1, the world’s only nuclear powered research submarine, has been involved in

many different research, recovery and exploratory missions since its christening in 1969.

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