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How India’s MATSYA-6000 might reveal the mysteries of the ocean

by OnverZe
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Three people will be on board India’s domestic MATSYA-6000 submersible when it descends into the Indian Ocean’s depths and reaches a depth of 6,000 metres. India’s strategy is pragmatic and motivated by a desire to explore the ocean floor in search of precious minerals and to study the variety of marine life. India is concentrating on economic hotspots that don’t go deeper than 6,000 metres.

In order to escape Earth’s gravitational pull, humans go to space while seated inside a loud, metal spaceship that is propelled into orbit by strong rocket engines at speeds of up to 40,000 kph.

The submersible ride will seem like a leisurely trip underwater. The submersible gently sinks into the ocean as a result of the saltwater it has been filled with using special tanks. Additionally, it features tanks that aid in regulating its motions for accurate navigation.

How India's MATSYA-6000 might reveal the mysteries of the ocean

The journey downhill should be quite quiet, except the roughness brought on by waves on the surface, according to a scientist in charge of some areas of Samudrayaan. Inside a circular titanium container, three explorers will embark on various excursions that last around 12 hours each. About 1,500 km will separate them from Kanyakumari.

Eight hours will be needed for the ascent and descent, leaving four hours for exploration, surveying, and scientific activity.

Although it may get chilly indoors, wearing regular warm clothing will be sufficient. Meals can be had both while descending and ascending. It could seem a little crowded and cramped, though, as you’ll be in a 2.1-meter sphere with two other individuals (for a total of three).

The weight of the water above you is around 600 times more than it is at the surface when you are 6,000 metres deep. This is why the submersible’s sturdy, pressurised shell is so essential.

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has developed a number of steel hull prototypes that may be accessed one at a time to test the necessary controls and equipment. Steel is not the best material for long-term research, though, because it is heavy and can corrode in the water. That’s why titanium alloy, a superior material, is frequently used in submersibles all around the world.

However, there were no businesses in India that could produce a titanium hull similar to this. Up till NIOT received assistance from ISRO. The exterior shell of the submersible must be constructed by joining two pieces of durable titanium. The only thing protecting them inside from the strong water pressure is this shell. However, it must have a thickness of no more than 80 millimetres in order for the submersible to remain light and have space for the crew.

In the titanium sphere, NIOT intends to conduct a test dive this year at a depth of 500 metres. Before the main mission, they will conduct more dives at even higher depths.

About 60% of the submersible, according to the scientist involved, was produced in India. This pertains to elements such as the outside framework, ballasts (heavy objects used to stabilise a machine or building), and the sturdy casing that seals out pressure. Some components, such as cameras, sensors, and communication systems, were, however, bought from businesses outside of India. He said that NIOT is responsible for developing the software that controls the submersible’s position and motions.

Over the years, NIOT has collaborated closely with professionals from crewed-submersible teams in nations including France, Japan, and Russia. They have the information required to ensure that going down and returning back up is achievable in a safe manner.

Twelve cameras will be positioned all around MATSYA to film the entire trip in order to get a full picture of the drop. Additionally, the staff will be able to video their surroundings through glass windows.

In the event of an emergency, there is enough oxygen in the Matsya chambers for the crew to survive for 96 hours. In an emergency, there is a mechanism that can hoist the 25-ton MATSYA out.

MATSYA uses just gravity, water, and lithium-ion batteries for power, as opposed to space travel, which has a continual risk of explosion owing to highly volatile fuel.

The communication system between the launch ship and the submersible will be quite simple because of the high depth and the impedance of water to communications. Because communications must travel from the seabed to the surface with a 20-second delay, live streaming, for instance, will not function.

India is attempting to access ocean resources in order to meet its energy needs. About 75,000 square kilometres of the Central Indian Ocean Basin have been designated by the International Seabed Authority for mining exploration. The objective in this location is to look for polymetallic nodules that are lying on the bottom. These nodules, which include precious metals including copper, nickel, cobalt, and manganese, are thought to be present in quantities of about 380 million tonnes.

Small, rounded lumps known as polymetallic nodules can be found on the ocean floor and are made up of a variety of important metals, including copper, nickel, cobalt, and manganese.

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