Friday, December 2

We already have a submarine with 360º vision capable of going down to more than 2,000 meters deep. and it’s spanish


Ever since Jerónimo de Ayanz drew up plans for a primitive wooden bathyscaphe at the beginning of the 17th century to collect pearls and attack enemy ships, Spain’s relationship with submarines has been —to define it in some way— extensive, prolific… and also dotted with some other missed opportunity. He now he writes a new chapter. Yesterday the company REV Ocean christened its Aurelia submersible in Barcelona, ​​capable of descending to a depth of 2,300 metres.

The Aurelia – name for the “friends” of Triton’s 7500/3 – is a deep immersion vehicle (DVS) with capacity for three crew members and equipped with an acrylic hull, a transparent dome that allows its passengers to enjoy privileged views and 360º of the seabed.

REV Ocean insists in fact on the peculiarity of this piece, which makes the Aurelia —he says— an “unrivaled” observatory. According to the company, the DVS reaches a range of more than ten hours, incorporates a LiFePO4 battery and is capable of going down to 2,286 meters. Its dimensions are not excessively large: dry it weighs 11,200 kg and reaches a height of 2.6 meters.

At 2,000 meters and with panoramic views

“The huge acrylic sphere provides a truly immersive experience, with unobstructed 360-degree views,” the company stresses before emphasizing the “extensive team of sampling, recording and documentation” with which the DVS Aurelia is equipped.

Despite its small size, the submarine incorporates tools that allow it, among other tasks, to take samples of sediments, gases and corals. His arsenal includes, for example, a Titan 4 manipulator arm, lighting systems and different types of cameras.

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Although its owner is REV Ocean, a company based in Lysaker, Norway, Aurelia has been manufactured in Spain. Its assembly phase was completed in the facilities that the American company Triton Submarines LLC has in Sant Cugat del Vallès. “This is the first scientific submersible capable of go down to more than 2,000 meters deep, with a transparent hull, built 100% in Catalonia with local technicians”, claims the firm.

With the baptism already completed, Aurelia still has to complete the testing phase to demonstrate her capabilities, performance and the scope of her scientific team. The tests —reveals the company— will be carried out in Mediterranean waters with the participation of government representatives and certification bodies, in addition to the Triton and REV Ocean companies themselves.

Experience they already have in the process. Last fall the Norwegian firm put into service the ROV Aurora, also a submersible, although with a completely different approach and design. Aurora is a remotely operated vehicle with a payload of just 250 kg that can descend to approx. 6,000 meters deep. The company recalls that it has already reached 3,800 in Arctic waters.

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The potential and, above all, the scope of submersibles to explore the depths of the oceans was made clear only a few months ago by the e DVS Limiting Factor, a small ship equipped with a 90 mm thick titanium pressure hull, a battery of 65kWh and that allows a wide vision forward and through the base. Inside, two Chilean researchers were able to study in situ the Atacama Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean and which is more than 8,000 meters deep.

“It was like descending to another planet”, explained one of them after completing the trip to the depths of the hadal region. The deepest dive descended to 8,069 meters and required his two crew members more or less three hours to reach the deepest point of the pit.

Pictures | REV Ocean and Triton



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