Florida-based commercial submarine maker Triton has announced a breakthrough in technology for making large, one-piece acrylic spheres. This is its core competitive advantage and the design basis for all of its underwater recreational vehicles. To demonstrate the capabilities of the new product, the company announced the construction of the submarine 13000/2 or Titanic Explorer, which will be able to descend on its own to the place of the shipwreck of the legendary Titanic.
The main feature of acrylic spheres is that in dark deep water they are no longer perceived by both the eyes and the lenses of video cameras - with the correct lighting settings, the full effect of the absence of a barrier between the viewer and the outside world is achieved. Previously, this was a little hindered by the seams - two hemispheres were glued together with invisible glue, but minor defects were still preserved. Now Triton's engineers have learned how to mold a sphere from a solid slab of acrylic, strong enough to withstand the pressure at 4, 000 meters.
The device has dimensions of 4, 45 x 2, 75 x 3 m, weighs 12 tons and can accommodate only two people. It has four 5 kW main and auxiliary steering gears, each with a separate drive. The total capacity of the batteries is only 40 kWh, but this is enough for a journey of 12 hours. The sub is able to reach the wreckage of the Titanic in just 2 hours, while it can go to the target in a wide spiral and completely silent, so as not to disturb the marine life.
The second important innovation, in addition to the acrylic sphere, the engineers called the folding hydrofoils. They have many functions - for example, they serve to change the shape of the apparatus when moving through water at different depths. The wings are equipped with customizable spotlights and cameras for shooting from different angles and in different lighting conditions. When driving along the bottom, the engines are at the highest point of the machine so as not to pick up silt and dirt. And if you need to squeeze into the narrowness, they can be folded for a while.