Alvin Completes Redesign, Set Sail on Saturday

Alvin Completes Redesign, Set Sail on SaturdayThe Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Alvin has completed its redesign that incurred the cost of US$41 million.  It has once against set sail on Saturday aboard R/V Atlantis for certification testing.

The same is expected to be held off the coast of Oregon and California.  The ship is owned US Navy and is operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).  It was launched in 1964 and since then it has endured a number of refits.

The tests will mark the end for `Phase One' upgrade that was initiated in 2005.  It has capacity of carrying a crew of three and is now completely different from the one that was built by General Mills in the 1960s.

The redesign has added on about 10,000 pounds to its weight to increase it from 35,200 pounds to 45,000 pounds.  The forging has been done by the Southwest Research Institute, which has made a completely new titanium personnel sphere.

It is 4.6 inches in width and has increased the volume of the ship from 144 to 171 cubic feet.  The payload on Alvin has also been increased from 200 to 400 pounds.  In addition, the shop now features improved exterior lighting, a better command and control system and a high-definition imaging systems.