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AT26-12 Alvin Science Verification Cruise (EM122)
Over the past four years, HOV Alvin has undergone a suite of enhancements including a new pressure hull with improved visibility and ergonomics, new digital imaging and data acquisition systems, a novel basket that accommodates greater payloads, and numerous improvements to the vehicle?s command and control systems. The new pressure sphere has been certified to 6500m. Future upgrades to the submarine?s batteries and other major subsystems will ultimately make this HOV capable of operations at 6500 m. Completion of the sea trials, will result in Alvin being recertified for operations to 4500m. However, there are aspects of vehicle operation and performance that are critical to science but not necessarily included in the certification process as defined by the US Navy?s NAVSEA protocols. Consequently, a science verification cruise (SVC) will be conducted to assess the research capabilities of the vehicle. The specific objectives of the cruise will include: 1) involvement of experienced users to ensure operational components and scientific sensors on the vehicle are working properly, 2) pursuit of various science projects and opportunistic exploration, and 3) education of early career scientists who plan to conduct deep submergence field science using HOV Alvin.