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China successfully completes trial run on deep water submersible

08-28-2010 08:57 BJT

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China has successfully completed a trial run on a deep water submersible, diving to depths of more than 37-hundred meters.

The feat has made China one of the few countries that have independently produced deep water technology. Peter Koveos tells us about some of the state-of-the-art technology and equipment.

The submersible called "Jiaolong" is like a big shark.

It is eight meters long, three meters high, and three meters wide.

Chief Driver Ye Cong shows us inside the pod.

Ye Cong, Chief Driver, said, "This is the sub's light, video camera, sonar, and machine hand. They are essential equipment for deep water research work. And we operate them in the pod."

Although the sub may look big from the outside, inside it's actually not. The crew share a space of about just five cubic meters.

This is the sub's life-support system. It can supply oxygen for 84 hours and absorb carbon dioxide. In case of an emergency, the staff can use breathing masks to stay alive.

These are the main controls. It's also where the driver would take control if the dive didn't go according to plan.

Ye Cong, Chief Driver, said, "If it is impossible for us to finish the task or an accident occurs, we just need to press this button, the sub then will stop diving. By pressing the one next to it, the sub will have enough buoyancy to return to the water surface."

The submersible is just like a car with a steering wheel - and can go in the same directions. Forward, back, left, right, return to the surface or dive deeper.

The window allows the crew to observe the environment under the sea. But, because it's so dark, they can only see clearly if they turn on the light.


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