Overhaul to take Alvin to greater extremes

Overhaul to take Alvin to greater extremes

The human-occupied vehicle (HOV) Alvin is midway through the final phase of an overhaul that will allow the submersible to dive to 6,500 meters (21,325 feet). “There is an arc we can follow with Alvin as an iconic tool for exploring the ocean,” says Andrew Bowen, director of the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF). “With a submarine that can dive to 6,500 meters, we will have an integrated system that allows the ocean to be explored to the fullest extent. Alvin will soon be able to deliver humans into this harsh environment.”Located at WHOI, NDSF is funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and operates Alvin, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason, and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry for the ocean science community. Although Alvin has been operating since 1964, the vehicle was significantly rebuilt in 2013 during an overhaul that included forging a larger titanium personnel sphere and rebuilding much of the sub from scratch.

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