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Alvin on A-frame

Next Stop: Gulf of Mexico

After a three-year major overhaul and upgrade, the submersible Alvin was in the water in November for 14 recertification dives off the coast of California. The upgrade included new lighting, an enhanced handling and control system, and a larger personnel sphere with enhanced viewing. "The new sphere provides much more visibility to the pilot and observers, with three big windows up front," said Rod Catanach, a WHOI engineer involved in the upgrade who also helped design lighter buoyancy foam for Alvin. This spring, Alvin will dive in the Gulf of Mexico as researchers take the sub's scientific systems through their paces and collect samples from cold seeps and deep-water coral sites. (Photo by Rod Catanach, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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