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Jefferson Grau inspects penetrator hole on new Alvin

All Clear

Technician Jefferson Grau peers through a hole in the new personnel sphere of the submersible Alvin, which is currently going through an extensive rebuild. The hole is one of 16 that will hold "penetrators" to carry electrical or fiber optic connections between the inside of the sphere, where the pilot, scientists, computers, and controls are located, and features on the outside of the sub, such as the thrusters, manipulator arms, and cameras. The seal between penetrator and hole must be strong enough to withstand the enormous pressures found in the ocean’s depths. Communicating via headset with a technician inside the sphere, Grau was looking for scratches or dust that might compromise the integrity of the seal. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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