Beginning in 2011, Alvin, the nation’s only deep-sea research submersible, underwent an extensive upgrade to expand the sub’s capabilities. From March 13 to 26, scientists will test the new sub for the first time on a Science Verification Cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.
The upgraded sub features a larger personnel sphere with additional viewports to increase visibility and improve comfort and usability for pilots and observers. It also includes new or rebuilt components that greatly enhance Alvin’s power, maneuverability, navigation, sample and data collection, cameras, and lights. During the cruise, scientists and pilots will take the sub through its paces in a series of dives under real field conditions.
This website will report on these initial tests in a series of daily updates, photos and videos, and specialized reports from this historic research cruise.