Subs for Science

In a recent article written for SEAlliance, Kip Evans shares his views on the use of manned submersibles to explore the ocean’s depths.

“In 1977, Alvin, the first untethered manned submersible, was used to confirm theories of seafloor spreading along the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Much to the amazement of scientists, the area was home to a thriving community of organisms living in extremely hot, sulfuric rich water. This discovery, along with hundreds of others, has made Alvin and other manned submersibles, one of the most valid oceanographic tools in the world.

During the past 30 years there has been a lot of debate about the need for using manned submersibles. After all, we have high-tech remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) capable of probing the ocean depths without depositing a single person in the water. They are less expensive to operate, safer, and in some ways easier to maintain.

But as a submersible pilot, I have experienced first-hand the profound importance of human observation. As a first person observer, you have the ability to see and sense objects around you that are nearly impossible to catch on a television monitor from the deck of a ship….”

To read the article in its entirety please click here.

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