Submersibles allow marine scientists to go down to great depths for viewing and sampling organisms in their natural settings. These vessels are compact and are dependent on surface support vessels, such as the ALVIN, the JOHNSON SEALINK, or Russia's MIR. They can also be military submarines converted for oceanographic research. Groundbreaking research, such as the discovery of hydrothermal vents, has been done in submersibles. They are not capable of reaching the deepest ocean regions, are costly to operate, and lack the versatility and endurance of Remotely Operated Vehicles.
|The French submersible, NAUTILE, being readied for deployment on the back
of the R/V ATLANTE. (Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems Project - ChEss. Eva Ramirez Llodra; see full-size image -- 38K)|
|A mechanical collecting arm from the French submersible, NAUTILE, taking a
sample from a hydrothermal vent. (Daniel Desbruyères, PHARE-IFREMER; see full-size image -- 145K)|
Click on the links below to see what Census projects use this technology: