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 (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.