This page is a soft redirect.Alvin]].
Alvin (DSV-2) is a manned deep-ocean research submersible owned by the United States Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The vehicle was built by General Mills' Electronics Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Named to honor the prime mover and creative inspiration for the vehicle, Allyn Vine, Alvin was commissioned on 5 June 1964. The submersible is launched from the deep submergence support vessel RV Atlantis (AGOR-25), which is also owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI. The submersible has made over 4,400 dives, carrying two scientists and a pilot, to observe the lifeforms that must cope with super-pressures and move about in total darkness, as well as exploring the wreck of Titanic. Research conducted by Alvin has been featured in nearly 2,000 scientific papers.
Alvin was designed as a replacement for bathyscaphes and other less maneuverable oceanographic vehicles. Its more nimble design was made possible in part by the development of syntactic foam, which is buoyant and yet strong enough to serve as a structural material at great depths.
The vessel weighs 17 tons. It allows for two scientists and one pilot to dive for up to nine hours at Script error: No such module "convert".. The submersible features two robotic arms and can be fitted with mission-specific sampling and experimental gear. The plug hatch of the vessel is Script error: No such module "convert". in diameter and somewhat thicker than the Script error: No such module "convert". thick titanium sphere pressure hull; it is held in place by the pressure of the water above it.
In an emergency, if Alvin were stuck underwater with occupants inside, the outer body, or cladding, of the submersible could be released and discarded using controls inside the hull. The titanium sphere would then rise to the surface uncontrolled. It is unknown, however, if a human could survive the rapid trip to the surface.
Alvin, first of its ship class of Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV), was built to dive to Script error: No such module "convert".. Each of the Alvin-class DSVs have different depth capabilities. However Alvin is the only one seconded to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with the others staying with the United States Navy.
Alvin's first deep sea tests took place off Andros Island, the Bahamas, where it made a successful 12-hour, unmanned tethered Script error: No such module "convert". test dive. On 20 July 1965 Alvin made its first Script error: No such module "convert". manned dive for the Navy to obtain certification. On 17 March 1966, Alvin was used to locate a submerged 1.45-megaton hydrogen bomb lost in a United States Air Force midair accident over Palomares, Spain. The bomb, found resting nearly Script error: No such module "convert". deep, was raised intact on 7 April. On 6 July 1967, the Alvin was attacked by a swordfish during dive 202. The swordfish became trapped in the Alvin's skin, and the Alvin was forced to make an emergency surface. The attack took place at Script error: No such module "convert". below the surface. The fish was recovered at the surface and cooked for dinner.
Alvin, aboard the Navy tender ship Lulu, was lost as it was being transported in October 1968. Lulu, a vessel created from a pair of decommissioned U.S. Navy pontoon boats with a support structure added on, was lowering Alvin over the side when two steel cables snapped. There were three crew members aboard Alvin at the time, and the hatch was open. Situated between the pontoons with no deck underneath, Alvin hit the water and rapidly began to sink. The three crew members managed to escape, but Alvin flooded and sank in Script error: No such module "convert". of water.
Severe weather prevented the recovery of Alvin throughout late 1968, but it was photographed on the bottom in June 1969 by a sled towed by USS Mizar. Alvin was found to be upright and appeared intact except for damage to the stern. It was decided to attempt recovery; although no object of Alvin 's size had ever been recovered from a depth of Script error: No such module "convert"., recovery was "deemed to be within the state of the art". In August 1969, the Aluminaut, another DSV built by Reynolds Metals Aluminum Company, descended to Alvin but had trouble attaching the required lines, and side effects from Hurricane Camille were producing worsening weather, causing the team to return to Woods Hole to regroup. The second attempt started on 27 August, and Aluminaut was able to secure a line and safety slings on Alvin, and wrapped a prefabricated nylon net around its hull, allowing it to be hauled up by Mizar. Alvin was towed, submerged at Script error: No such module "convert"., at a speed of Script error: No such module "convert"., back to Woods Hole.
In 1973, Alvin 's pressure hull was replaced by a newer titanium pressure hull. The new hull extended the submersible's depth rating.
In 1977, during an expedition led by Robert Ballard and sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Alvin discovered and documented the existence of black smokers around the Galapagos Islands. Existing at a depth of more than Script error: No such module "convert"., black smokers emit a strong flow of black, smoky water, superheated to over Script error: No such module "convert".. Alvin was able to sample the water from a black smoker. Alvin discovered that the pH was roughly 2.8 (strongly acidic).
Exploration of RMS Titanic
Most famously, Alvin was involved in the exploration of the wreckage of RMS Titanic in 1986. Launched from her support ship RV Atlantis II, she carried Dr. Robert Ballard and two companions to the wreckage of the great liner. Titanic sank in 1912 after striking an iceberg while crossing the North Atlantic Ocean on her maiden voyage.
Alvin, accompanied by a small remotely operated vehicle (ROV) named Jason Jr., was able to conduct detailed photographic surveys and inspections of Titanic 's wreckage. Many of the photographs of the expedition have been published in the magazine of the National Geographic Society which was a major sponsor of the expedition.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution team involved in the Titanic expedition also explored the wreck of the USS Scorpion (SSN-589), a [[Skipjack class submarine #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Skipjack-class]] submarine armed with nuclear torpedoes, which sank off the coast of the Azores in 1968 in uncertain circumstances. Alvin obtained photographic and other environmental monitoring data from the remains of Scorpion.
Over the years, Alvin has undergone many overhauls to improve its equipment and extend its lifetime. In 2001, among other equipment, motor controllers and computer systems were added. The current Alvin is the same as the original vessel in name and general design only. All components of the vessel including the frame and personnel sphere have been replaced at least once. Alvin is completely disassembled every three to five years for a complete inspection. A new robotic arm was added in 2006.
In June 2008 construction started on a stronger and slightly larger personnel sphere which may be used to upgrade Alvin (for use from 2011), before being used in an entirely new vehicle. The new sphere, cast and machined out of 15.5 tonnes of titanium, has five view ports (instead of the current three) and is designed for depths of over Script error: No such module "convert"., where Alvin 's constructed depth limit was Script error: No such module "convert".. This, along with a general upgrade of support systems, instruments and materials, will allow Alvin to reach 98% of the ocean floor. After one last dive to assess damage to the Gulf of Mexico's seafloor after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Alvin will be refitted starting January 2011, with an expected return to the ocean in 2012 and full depth potential achieved in 2015.
In early 2014, an extensively refit Alvin started verification testing in the Gulf of Mexico. Featuring new cameras, lighting, and a larger titanium personnel sphere, this new Alvin is the result of a three-and-a-half year effort to bring the sub to new depths. In March and April of 2014, Alvin was used to explore the site of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Alvin uses four Script error: No such module "convert". steel weights (~1.7 cubic feet of steel) to provide negative buoyancy for the trip to the ocean floor. Alvin contains a ballast and trim system, but the steel weights allow deep dives to be achieved more rapidly. These weights are jettisoned on each dive and left at the bottom.
Other deep submergence vehicles
- "Alvin Specifications". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- "History of Alvin". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- "Salvops 69", "A review of significant salvage operations conducted by U.S. Navy salvage forces and other salvage activities during 1969", pp. 1–18, Department of the Navy, Naval Ship Systems Command, Washington, D.C.
- "Human Occupied Vehicle Alvin". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Broad, William J. (26 August 2008). "Forging a new sphere". The New York Times. p. F1.
- Borel, Brooke, "Alvin Redux", Popular Science, March 2013
- Hsu, Jeremy (16 December 2010). "Upgraded Sub Could Reach 98 Percent of Ocean Deep". OurAmazingPlanet.com. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Amos, Jonathan (16 December 2010). "Ocean science giant Alvin set for upgrade". BBC News. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Lippsett, Lonny (13 March 2014). "Not Your Grandfather's Cadillac". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- Juhasz, Antonia (2014-04-01), "The Deepwater Horizon Spill, Four Years On", Harper's
- deGruy, Mike (18 November 1999). "Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center – Expedition Log". marinetech.org. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Nevala, Amy E. (3 August 2005). "Alvin's Pilots". Oceanus. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
- Kaharl, Victoria A. (1 October 1990). Water Baby: The Story of Alvin. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-506191-8.
- Kunzig, Robert (1 March 1999). The Restless Sea: Exploring the World Beneath the Waves (1st ed edition ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-04562-5.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alvin (DSV-2).|
- WHOI's Alvin pages
- Interactive Tour of Alvin
- Dive and Discover – An interactive distance learning Web site designed to immerse you in the excitement of discovery and exploration of the deep seafloor.
- Discovery of Titanic
- Ocean Explorer (http://www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov) – Public outreach site for explorations sponsored by NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration & Research.
- NOAA, Ocean Explorer Google Map
- NOAA, Ocean Explorer Technology – Alvin Submersible
- NOAA, Ocean Explorer Gallery – A rich collection of images, video, audio and podcast.
- NOAA, Ocean Explorer YouTube Channel – Deep Slope 2006: Alvin Submersible "Brine Lake Wave at 7,644 ft"