Science Questions

Could subersibles be used without pilots for a long time?

Sun, 10th Feb 2008

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Roy, Peterborough asked:

Can the self-powering submersible be used without a pilot for a long period of time? Unlike the vessel that was used to search for the wreck of the Titanic.


Roy was referring to this news story about an underwater thermal glider.  Designed to take advantage of changes in temperature to glide long distances collecting information about the sea bed.

You couldn’t have a person in this type of glider because of the amount of energy you need to keep the person going; you need to keep them warm and give them oxygen.  It would be far more than the energy you could generate.  So you’d have little, tiny computer-controlled things which can just travel through the ocean all over the place.  In fact the biggest limitation on it is the amount of power it can use because it can’t generate very much.  You need to have not very power-hungry sensors.


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