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Alvin upgrades

New and Improved

Nearly 18 months after Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution engineers Dave Walter (left) and Bruce Strickrott took the deep sea submersible Alvin apart, they are now beginning to put it back together, with improvements. By the end of 2012, the submersible will be fitted with a new, larger personnel sphere (the old one is shown here) with an ergonomic interior designed to boost comfort on long dives. The new sphere will also have five larger viewports (instead of the current three) to enhance visibility and provide overlapping fields of view for the pilot and two observers. In addition, Alvin will have new lighting and a high-definition imaging system, new syntactic foam providing buoyancy, and an improved command and control system. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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