A team at NAVSEA headquarters stands beneath a replica of Alvin as it appeared in the late-1970s. From left to right: Kim Tran (SEA 05), Chip Tucker (SEA 05), Van Lien (SEA 05), Kurt Crake (SEA 05), Mike Breslin (Executive Director PEO-SSN), Brian Pelletier (PMS394), Kip Grantham (PMS394), Emily Donowick (SEA05), Jae-Yoo Ko (SEA 07Q),…Read More
Segal’s law of navigation
WHOI software engineer Stefano Suman inside Alvin with the sub’s navigation screen above him. (Photo by Ken Kostel, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Segal’s Law states (albeit ironically) that someone with one watch will always know what time it is, but someone with two watches is never sure. There’s a deeper truth to that adage that…Read More
Rick Sanger preps Alvin for Dive 5081. (Photo by Alvin Team, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Dive 5085 came up after achieving what was then a record depth for Alvin of 5782 meters. The sub crew decided to come up when they did because they had dived deep enough to put the sub within striking distance…Read More
We did it!
Yesterday’s Alvin dive landed on the seafloor around 5670 meters and, after the crew inside completed their checks, picked up and drove north down the sloping seafloor of the Puerto Rico Trench until they eventually settled at 6453 meters—a little over four miles deep. The NAVSEA-mandated depth to achieve certification is below 6200 meters, but…Read More
“Alvin Diving:” What it takes to get the sub in the water
Years can elapse between the time that a scientist writes a grant proposal and the day Atlantis actually arrives over a chosen dive site. That period is almost entirely unscripted and in the hands of the team that makes up the science party on the ship, as well as many others on shore. Once Atlantis…Read More
Riding in an observer seat for the last three consecutive Alvin dives were engineers of different kinds: an Alvin mechanical engineer, an Alvin engineering technician, and a WHOI software engineer who is on board for sea trials. Here are their dive stories. Alvin engineers Nick Ellis and Kaitlyn Beardshear before dive 5082. Hannah Piecuch ©Woods…Read More
Sea trials shake-out
There is no pressure test facility in the world that can fit Alvin. So we have to dive. (Photo by Hannah Piecuch, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) As Alvin goes deeper, things that were invisible on land and on the ship emerge under the pressure of the deep sea. Dives 5082 and 5083 and 5084 are…Read More
On Tuesday, after four days of transiting south, the Atlantis arrived above the Puerto Rico Trench, which is 8,600 meters deep, and the place where deepest dives of this expedition will take place. Alvin dove in the trench on Wednesday, July 13, with a goal of reaching 3,500 meters. Bruce Strickrott was pilot, Rick Sanger…Read More
What is it like being an Alvin swimmer?
The Alvin swimmers ride the sub into the water, unhook the main and tail lines to get it free of the ship, snorkel around the vehicle to complete final checks, board the waiting small boat, and watch it disappear into the depths. The swimmers are a highly visible part of launch and recovery, the last…Read More
Oceanus Magazine: Who is Alvin and what are Sea Trials?
HOV Alvin is at sea for engineering tests to dive 6,500 meters deep, able to reach 99% of the ocean floor. If you haven’t been following the process, we’ll catch you up here.Read More