Samudrayaan: India’s first mission to send humans 6000m deep in the ocean

To unlock the mysteries in the heart of the waters of the deep sea, India has undertaken the massive ocean mission “Samudrayaan”. The country aims to send a team of experts to the deep sea to conduct various deep-sea studies in the manned submersible vehicle “Matsya 6000”.

What is the goal of the mission?

The Samudrayaan mission aims to develop a self-propelled submarine to carry three people into a water depth of up to 6000 meters in the ocean with an array of scientific sensors and instruments to explore the ocean depths. It lasts for 12 hours of operation period and 96 hours in case of emergency.

Focusing on the development of deep-sea technology, the Deep-Ocean mission consists of developing manned submarines rated for 6000 meters of water combined with deep-sea mining technologies, exploration of deep-sea mineral resources, and marine biodiversity.

Why is it important to explore the ocean?

The oceans, which cover 70 percent of the globe, remain an essential part of our lives. About 95 percent of the ocean’s depths remain unexplored. For India, with its three sides surrounded by oceans and about 30 percent of the country’s population living in coastal and coastal areas plays a major economic factor. It supports fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, livelihoods, and blue trade.

For India, there is a unique maritime location, a coastline of 7,517 km long, which is home to nine coastal states and 1,382 islands. The Government of India’s vision of a “New India” highlights the blue economy as one of the ten basic dimensions of growth.

What is MATSYA 6000?

The Union Minister added that the preliminary design of the manned submarine “MATSYA 6000” has been completed, and the vehicle’s completion has begun along with several organizations including ISRO, IITM and DRDO to support the initiative.

The MATSYA 6000 is a domestically developed manned submersible vehicle. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will facilitate the conduct of deep ocean exploration.

Already, the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, an independent institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), has developed a 6000m deep rated remote-operated vehicle (ROV) and several other underwater instruments such as the Autonomous Drilling System (ACS), a vehicle Autonomous Underwater (AUV) and Deep Sea Mining (DSM) system for deep sea exploration.

Read also: In stern warning, UN Secretary-General says oceans are in ’emergency’

How will it help in deep sea research?

The manned submarine will allow scientific personnel to observe and understand undiscovered deep sea areas through direct interventions. Moreover, it will enhance the ability to develop compounds classified by deep sea men.

While launching the Sea Exploration Initiative, Federal Minister of State Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that “This specialized technology will facilitate the Ministry of Earth Sciences, in conducting deep-ocean exploration for non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydrogen hydrates, refractory sulphides and cobalt crusts located at a depth of between 1000 and 5500 meters”.

Why are underwater vehicles preferred over unmanned vehicles?

Underwater vehicles are essential for carrying out subsea activities such as high-resolution bathymetry, biodiversity assessment, geoscientific monitoring, search activities, rescue operations, and engineering support.

Although unmanned underwater vehicles have improved maneuverability and excellent sighting systems that are similar to direct observation, manned submarines provide a sense of direct physical presence to researchers and have a better ability to intervene. With the advancement of subsea technologies.

What are the basic elements of manned submarines?

Some of the important subsystems for manned submarines are the development of the Ti Alloy Personnel Sphere, the closed space human support and safety system, low-density buoyancy units, and the ballast and finishing system. Pressure compensating batteries, propulsion system, control and communication systems, launch and recovery system.

The system design, operating concept, functionality and safety of subcomponents, emergency rescue and fault situation analysis are reviewed and approved in accordance with the rules of the International Society for Classification and Certification for Human Use of Manned Submarines at a depth of 6000 meters.

What is the estimated cost of the mission?

The Indian government has approved the Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) to be carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Earth Sciences with a total budget of R4,077 crore for five years.

The projected timeline is five years for the period from 2020-2021 to 2025-2026. The estimated cost of the first 3-year phase (2021-2024) will be R2,823.4 crore Rs. The Deep Ocean Mission will be an important pattern project in support of the Government of India’s blue economy initiatives.

%d bloggers like this: