DSV engineering - Deep Sea Vehicles

I’m fascinated by Deep Sea Vehicles (DSVs) and want to know more about them or see a discussion arise.

Basically, what I’ve gathered so far is mostly about Triton’s Limiting Factor DSV, and the old Trieste Bathyscaphe.

Buoyancy - Some lighter-than water fluid. Is this true with the Limiting Factor? Use of shot/metallic-weights for ballast suggests this hasn’t changed?

Pump-limitations - most powerful pumps I read about so far are limited to about 5,500meters, so there’s an inability to control ballast through pumps at this time?

Controls - how does a DSV pilot control the craft? Do they have to poke holes into the pressure hull? Thrusters, dive planes (if any) and release of ballast all have to be controlled, but the pressure hulls are solid spheres aren’t they? Radio controls?

Battery supplies - particularly, Limiting Factor kept itself on the bottom with slight positive buoyancy and downward thrust. How much energy did this consume?

Power supply - is there a way to engineer a thermoelectric generator to provide some power supply? Are there other power solutions other than just battery?

Limiting Factor uses syntactic foam permanent ballast, soft ballast for surface operations, and drop weights for buoyancy control at depth.

There are other means to control buoyancy at depths other than full ocean depth and they are based on using a variable volume device.

Some very deep diving vehicles use optical penetrators to control external devices that are pressure compensated.

It doesn’t take much power to move a few feet vertically. The greatest consumer of battery power is horizontal thrusting and (at least in the old days) external lighting.

There is a lot of online information available, especially since the advent of autonomous vehicles.

1 Like

I’ve honestly been “diving deep” into online information and there doesn’t seem to be as much as you think?

For instance the Limiting Factor’s syntactic foam ballast, I did several searches for ballast of multiple types of DSVs including the LF and just found nothing.

Perhaps it’s just because I don’t know enough yet to ask the best questions. I keep getting a lot of news/ad returns and not anything technical.

Naturally, knowing now about the syntactic foam, I did a search on that and got great responses. I think the problem is that I didn’t know such a thing existed. When researching “DSV ballast” or such questions I just wasn’t getting anything material.

The variable volume device is highly interesting to me, and the optical penetrators to control pressure compensated devices is another one. These are all “industry vocabulary” terms that I can springboard off-of.

Email Patrick Lahey at Triton and ask him personally.