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Transportation Science Technology

The Tech Behind James Cameron's Trench-Bound Submarine 111

MrSeb writes "Yesterday, James Cameron completed a five-mile-deep test dive in the Pacific Ocean, in preparation for a seven-mile (36,000ft, 11,000m) dive to Challenger Deep, in the Mariana Trench; the deepest place in the world. We don't know when the actual dive will occur, but it will probably be soon. At 36,000ft, the pressure exerted on the hull is 16,000 psi; over 1000 atmospheres, and equivalent to eight tons pushing down on every square inch of your body. Understandably, building a submersible (and equipment, such as cameras, motors, and batteries) that can withstand that kind of pressure, and then safely return to the surface, is difficult. This article digs into the technology required to get Cameron safely to the bottom of the ocean, film some 3D, IMAX footage, and then return to the surface."
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The Tech Behind James Cameron's Trench-Bound Submarine

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  • units? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @07:37PM (#39295399)

    How does one reconcile 16,000 psi with 8,000 tons per square inch?
    Seems something is off.

    Also pretty sure no human bodies will be experiencing that pressure

  • Hard? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kurt555gs ( 309278 ) <{kurt555gs} {at} {ovi.com}> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @07:43PM (#39295453) Homepage

    Isn't this 1961 technology we're talking about? Remember the Treste!

  • Re:Hard? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yodleboy ( 982200 ) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @07:57PM (#39295569)
    why does the Trieste come up every time this new vehicle is the topic? The Trieste was an underwater elevator and no more. You went down, you saw a sliver of the bottom through tiny portals and you went up. It's less exploration and more "i got there first". Deepsea Challenger can actually, you know, MOVE. Sure they could have sent a robot, and maybe that gets you all hot and steamy. For me, it's nice to know that people are willing to explore somewhere now that manned space flight is on it's way out the door.
  • Re:Onion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @08:15PM (#39295723) Homepage Journal
    Heh, you're funny.

    So to go down to 10,000 feet below sea level, you'd essentially need ten shells, each with a valve, with each shell becoming a point of failure. And that's more of an ideal situation, not taking into account how you're gonna get shit in and out of the vessel.

    I work in this industry(shoutout to DeepSea Power and Light, here in San Diego), and we used pressurized oil to add structural integrity to certain electronic components. In fact, it was even mentioned in the article.

    You could have one onion layer of super-high pressurized oil, but it would essentially behave like a solid which could be pushed into the inner shell. Shit, why not, oh, just have one shell designed to withstand the pressure? Or, better yet, fill the whole vessel with oil pressurized to 1000 bar? That'll show those damn skeptics.
  • Re:units? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:22PM (#39296317) Homepage

    Who cares. Those units don't exist anyway. How many pascal are we talking about?

  • Re:Avatar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @01:29AM (#39297731)

    I've found that people with an IQ of over 80 think that judging people's IQ by the movies they watch says more about the observer than the observed.

  • by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Friday March 09, 2012 @03:59AM (#39298425)

    So, after making some of the best sci-fi action movies ever filmed, James Cameron kicks back with some dives to the bottom of the ocean.

    You know what the best part of it is? Nearly every dive he has done has been paid for by others. After filming titanic, he did a bunch of dives as "research" for his next movie, Avatar. I must have missed the underwater scenes in that film...

    Anyways, the beauty of doing it this way is :
    1. He gets to charge the investors in the movie for the costs of the underwater dives AND still receive his full salary
    2. Since research is a business expense, neither JC nor the movie studio pay any income taxes on the money used to fund this hobby
    3. Since he's bringing an IMAX camera along for the current endeavor, WE'RE collectively going to pay the bills for the expedition!

    Anyways, stuff like this is how rich people get even richer. I mean sure he could probably write a check for the millions of dollars these trips costs, but that's not how rich people roll...

    With all that said, I don't see anything wrong with his actions. Mr. Cameron didn't write the tax laws, and unlikely many wealthy people, he started from nothing, and he created something to earn his wealth. It's become fashionable to criticize Avatar, but it was one of the best looking movies ever filmed, and had a solid story.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.