The Deep water Manned Submersible - a small watercraft designed to operate underwater - developed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, will be ready by 2024, according to its director GA Ramadass.

“We are in the process of developing a scientific human submersible which can take three human beings to 6,000 m water depth. This vehicle is called Matysa6000 and this mission is called Samudrayaan. This will be done by 2024,” he said at OCEANS 2022, Conference and Exposition, a Bi-annual event for Global Marine Researchers & technologists hosted jointly by NIOT and IIT Madras.

Information in NIOT website said that the manned submersible will allow scientists to get down in the environment to observe the life in its natural habitat in deep-waters. It will have capability for deep ocean resource explorations, scientific observations in deep waters, search and rescue support activities.

The vehicle specifications to carry three persons with operation endurance of 12 hours at 6,000 m depth and emergency endurance of 96 hours were finalised for the development of personnel sphere/human capsule, life support systems, ballast systems, propulsion systems, underwater battery, power distribution system, sensors, control hardware and navigation.

Spreading awareness

OCEANS is a bi-annual event for global marine researchers, technologists, engineers, students, and policymakers. For four days, researchers and industrial leaders will highlight, discuss and exchange relevant topics and current trends in marine technologies. This will help in creating awareness on advanced research areas, practices, and policies for the marine field.

Ramadass speaking at the event said that the Centre has mandated the NIOT to design, develop and demonstrate technologies for sustainable exploration and utilisation of ocean resources. The United Nations has declared this decade as the Decade of Oceans and the Government of India has announced the Deep Ocean Mission for which a budget of $530 million for five years and the Blue Economy Policy has been unveiled, he said.

IIT Madras Director V Kamakoti speaking said that the institute is committed to development of ocean technology. The institute is setting up a large ocean centre at the Discovery campus at Thayyur. This will be fully ready in a year for doing large scale research in ocean engineering. “We have the longest coastline and an ocean in our country’s name, and we are all committed to developing ocean related technologies and IIT Madras will put all its full efforts in seeing that this grows in a major global research initiative. We are committed towards it,” he said.

Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Chief Executive, IIT Research Park, urged the participants to work in the area of tapping energy from the ocean and converting it into electricity. India is surrounded by the ocean and will need the third energy source after solar and wind, he said. Solar is available only in the day time and wind is seasonal. To balance this, the ocean is the best third source, he added.

According to Madhu Nair, Chairman & Managing Director, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, climate change is a not a fad but real. The downpour in Chennai and the floods in Kerala are examples of this. In When CSL was trying to do business in Norway, common people there used to talk about climate change and the ocean raising. A country of over 5 million people was so concerned as they said when the oceans rise, they will be the first ones to go. That awakening has now come to countries like India today. “Today’s generation is extremely connected to the environment and swears by biologist David Attenborough and talks about sustainability,” he said.