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Alvin ballast tank tests

Tank Testing

Doug Mendes (left) and Brian Pepin inspect one of Alvin's eight ballast tanks during the continuing overhaul and upgrade of the human-occupied vehicle. They were looking for any signs of wear in the tanks, which had been in service since  the 1970s. The two NDT (non-destructive testing) technicians, who work for MITRAS Services, applied a fluorescent liquid penetrant that is able to seep into even the tiniest crack or flaw. The technicians then shined an ultraviolet light on the tanks to reveal any defect in the metal. The testing showed that all the tanks were in good working order.

(Photo by Matthew Barton, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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