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alvin sphere forging

A Midwestern Hemisphere

One of two new hemispheres for the research sub Alvin cools at Wisconsin-based forge, Ladish, in June 2008. Once forged, the hemispheres, which began as 35,000 pounds of titanium ingots, were welded together using an electron beam to form a personnel sphere for the sub. In 2011, the brand-new sphere will be installed as part of an upgrade to Alvin that will also include new flotation, a new command and control system, and improved imaging systems. When improved battery technology becomes available, new batteries will be added to allow the submersible to reach depths of 6500 meters, giving scientists upclose and personal access to 98% of the sea floor. (Photo courtesy of Advanced Imaging & Visualization Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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