This rare film shows the design and construction of the Alvin submersible DSV-2, made in conjunction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. A groundbreaking craft, Alvin was designed as a replacement for bathyscaphes and other less maneuverable oceanographic vehicles. Its more nimble design was made possible in part by the development of syntactic foam, which is buoyant and yet strong enough to serve as a structural material at great depths.
The vessel weighs 17 tons. It allows for two scientists and one pilot to dive for up to nine hours at 4,500 metres (14,800 ft). The submersible features two robotic arms and can be fitted with mission-specific sampling and experimental gear. The plug hatch of the vessel is 0.48 metres (1 ft 7 in) in diameter and somewhat thicker than the 2-inch (51 mm) thick titanium sphere pressure hull; it is held in place by the pressure of the water above it.
In an emergency, if Alvin were stuck underwater with occupants inside, the outer body, or cladding, of the submersible could be released and discarded using controls inside the hull. The titanium sphere would then rise to the surface uncontrolled.
Alvin, first of its ship class of deep submergence vehicle (DSV), was built to dive to 2,440 metres (8,010 ft). Each of the Alvin-class DSVs have different depth capabilities. However Alvin is the only one seconded to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with the others staying with the United States Navy.
Alvin's first deep sea tests took place off Andros Island, the Bahamas, where it made a successful 12-hour, unmanned tethered 7,500-foot (2,300 m) test dive. On 20 July 1965 Alvin made its first 6,000-foot (1,800 m) manned dive for the Navy to obtain certification. On 17 March 1966, Alvin was used to locate a submerged 1.45-megaton hydrogen bomb lost in a United States Air Force midair accident over Palomares, Spain. The bomb, found resting nearly 910 metres (2,990 ft) deep, was raised intact on 7 April.
Alvin (DSV-2) is a manned deep-ocean research submersible owned by the United States Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The vehicle was built by General Mills' Electronics Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Named to honor the prime mover and creative inspiration for the vehicle, Allyn Vine, Alvin was commissioned on 5 June 1964. The submersible is launched from the deep submergence support vessel RV Atlantis (AGOR-25), which is also owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by WHOI. The submersible has made more than 4,400 dives, carrying two scientists and a pilot, to observe the lifeforms that must cope with super-pressures and move about in total darkness, as well as exploring the wreck of Titanic. Research conducted by Alvin has been featured in nearly 2,000 scientific papers.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com