Pimp My Alvin

Alvin’s interior will be getting a redesign as a new larger titanium has been forged.

It is 3, rather than 2, inches thick, with an interior diameter that is 4.6 inches wider than Alvin’s current sphere. That increases the interior volume by nearly 20 percent, from 144 to 171 cubic feet, and that additional space has opened up a range of new possibilities.

The interior of sphere is small, just barely large enough for a pilot and two scientists to sit, not stand, but not enough room for seats or bathroom.

For up to eight hours, they sit on thin pads on the floor and peer out windows, or viewports, the size of teacup saucers. The pilot drives while perched on a small metal box.

The Alvin overhaul sees upgrades across the board with better batteries allowing for 12 hour dives and 6500m, 2000m deeper than before.

via Alvin Gets an Interior Re-design.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.