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Penetrator testing

A Penetrating Task

Research associate Alexi Shalapyonok, mechanic Brian Durante, and engineer Hugh Popenoe prepare to seal a pressure chamber they are using to test a penetrator that will become part of the newly-rebuilt submersible Alvin. Penetrators are titanium tubes that allow electrical wires and fiber-optic lines to pass through the hull of the personnel sphere, connecting sensors, thrusters, and instruments on the outside of the sphere to controls on the inside. The penetrators and seals around them must be able to withstand the same pressures as the rest of the hull in order to protect the vehicle’s human occupants. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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