Extreme Engineering in Five Deeps and First Descent Missions Highlighted at Teledyne Marine Technology Workshop

October 15, 2019

I’ve been struck by the number of times I’ve heard from different marine technology companies that they’ve created a custom housing for a television client, or a power supply that can withstand specific temperature or pressure conditions, or a robotic arm built for one special purpose.

While at the Teledyne Marine Technology Workshop in San Diego, I saw examples of that ingenuity and adaptability infused into every aspect of Victor Vescovo’s Five Deeps Mission and Oliver Steed and Nekton’s First Descent Missions. And (spoiler alert) the exciting part was the design and manufacturing of the mission equipment.

Whether designing multiple underwater optical transmission systems (that wouldn’t interfere with each other) for the first-ever live news broadcast from under the Indian Ocean during the Nekton’s First Descents Mission; or building landers for the (very) bottom of the ocean that could triangulate the position of Triton’s 36000/2 Five Deeps Mission submarine—one-of-a-kind adaptations and custom engineering are critical to missions like these.

Marine technology design and manufacturing, compared to the mass-produced world of most products, is a special thing. You witness one incredible engineering feat, adaptation, and attempt at problem-solving after another, as well as a willingness to create bespoke marine technologies to solve specific challenges. The field is highly entrepreneurial and quickly adaptable, as converging technologies like GPS, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, underwater optics, and acoustics open up possibilities and speed up the rate of development.

It took a village to build the Triton 36000/2, which included components from more than 150 different companies from 36 countries, with involvement from a number of MTS member companies.

Triton 36000/2 Photo Credit: Reeve Jolliffe

You can read more about the Triton 36000/2 in the September October issue of the Marine Technology Society Journal, in the article “In Depth Knowledge: Designing, Testing, and Building the World’s Most Extreme Ocean Exploration Tool,” authored by Craig Barnett.

The broader picture of why all of this is not only exciting but important was highlighted by Mike Read, President of Teledyne Marine, when discussing the company’s commitment to social responsibility in their partnership with the First Descents Missions; their work on power supplies for the Mars Rover and the International Space Station; and their contributions to the Tsunami warning systems in Japan to name a few. I bet there are a few exciting stories there to tell about those projects.

We want to share your stories of adventures in marine technology. Please email me (lisa.stryker@mtsociety.org) and share your story. I promise I’ll be on the edge of my seat.

Author, Lisa Stryker, Communications Specialist, Marine Technology Society.

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