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India launches its first manned ocean mission 'Samudrayan'

Samudrayan mission

Union Minister Jitendra Singh launched the Samudrayan mission in Chennai (Photo: Twitter/@DrJitendraSingh)

New Delhi/Chennai: Union Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh has launched India's first manned ocean mission "Samudrayan" at Chennai.

With the launch of this unique ocean mission, India joins the elite club of nations such as the US, Russia, Japan, France, and China to have such underwater vehicles for carrying out subsea activities, a release from the Earth Sciences Ministry said.

The Minister Jitendra Singh said that the preliminary design of the manned submersible MATSYA 6000 is completed and realisation of the vehicle has been started with various organisations including the ISRO, the IITM and the DRDO roped in to support the development.

Singh added that sea trials of 500 metre-rated shallow water version of the manned submersible are expected to take place in the last quarter of 2022 and the MATSYA 6000, the deep-water manned submersible will be ready for trials by the second quarter of 2024.

Ministry officials said that based on the experience gained over two decades in the development of unmanned robotic vehicles and systems for 6,000 m operational capability, the Ministry and the NIOT is indigenously developing a manned submersible with a depth capability of 6,000 metres under the aegis of Deep Ocean Mission.

The manned submersible is designed to carry three persons in 2.1 metre diameter titanium alloy personnel sphere with an operational endurance of 12 hour and systems to support emergency endurance up to 96 hour.

Some of the critical subsystems of the manned submersibles are development of titanium alloy personnel sphere, human support and safety system in enclosed space, low density buoyancy modules, and the ballast and trim system (BTS).

Others include pressure compensated batteries and propulsion system, control and communication systems and launching and recovery system.

The system design, concept of operation, subcomponents functionality and integrity, emergency rescue, and failure mode analysis are reviewed and certified as per the rules of International Association of Classification and Certification Society for man-rated usage of manned submersible at a depth of 6,000 metres.

The underwater vehicles are essential for carrying out subsea activities such as high-resolution bathymetry, biodiversity assessment, geo-scientific observation, search activities, salvage operation, and engineering support.

India will also build its first deep sea, hi-tech research vessel at a cost of about Rs 1,200 crore for purposes including exploration and it would also be used for efforts aimed at securing for the nation its rightful additional continental shelf, PTI reported quoting a top official on Saturday.

It is the first time that such a deep sea vessel, with advanced capabilities like a feature to send seismic signals into deep ocean depths would be built in India.

The new ship, under the Make in India initiative and the Deep Ocean Mission, is expected to be completed by three years from the date of placing the order, he said.

The ship building yard is yet to be finalised but it is expected to be done by next March, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, M Ravichandran told journalists on board ORV (Ocean Research Vessel) Sagar Nidhi

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TAGS:Samudrayan Manned Ocean Mission 
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