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How to find a missing plane.

Discussion in 'Engineering' started by amusicsite, 25 May 2014.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    With the disappearance of the Malaysian plane in one of the most hostile parts of the deep ocean, it has highlighted one of our engineering black holes. The deep ocean.

    It does not seem like we have many vehicles that can cope with the pressure of staying down at those depths. While there is a constant coverage of the earth from above the surface, there seems very little activity monitoring what goes on beneath the oceans.

    I guess the technology is driven by the oil industry and mostly we work well at depths that we can drill at. I can't imaging they are interested in two mile deep oceans in the most inhospitable places on earth. Not yet anyway...

    So thought it might be interesting to look at what is possible, what the problems are and what we do know about these deep oceans that cover most of the planet.
  2. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    One of the few vehicles that could go to such depths was recently lost.


    Nereus was a hybrid autonomous underwater vehicle (HROV, a type of remotely operated underwater vehicle) built by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Constructed as a research vehicle to operate at depths of up to 11,000 metres (36,000 ft), it was designed to explore Challenger Deep, the deepest surveyed point in the global ocean. Nereus, named for Greek sea titan Nereus (who has a man's torso and a fish-tail) through a nationwide contest of high school and college students, began its deep sea voyage to Challenger Deep in May 2009 and reached the bottom on May 31, 2009.

    On this dive the Nereus reached a depth of 35,768 feet (10,902 m), making the Nereus the world's second-deepest-diving vehicle in operation at the time, and the first since 1998 to explore the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean known.

    On 10 May 2014, Nereus was lost while exploring the Kermadec Trench at a depth of 9,900 metres (32,500 ft). Communications were cut off at around 2 p.m. local time, and debris retrieved later revealed that it imploded due to high pressure.

    Unfortunately though, with such massive, massive areas to cover and (as you allude to above) no profit for anyone to do so, it's not likely to happen on anytime soon.