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Recreational three-person sub

Gemini at the BBC
 Tomorrows Worlds
 road show in London

Gemini at the BBC
Tomorrows Worlds
road show in London

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The Aquarius is a three person, fly-by-wire recreational submersible that will operate to depths of 50m to 100m at a maximum speed of 7 knots when it goes on sale at the end of 2004 at a cost of '500,000. Undewater engineering specialist Subeo is set to begin production of the vehicle following the successful evaluation of the Gemini, a two-man concept vehicle on which the Aquarius production vessel is based.

The vessel is powered by a sealed, maintenance-free nickle sodium battery that do not produce hydrogen gas during the charging process (making them safer than conventional lead acid batteries) and drive is provided by a newly developed integrated thruster system that needs no water seals or complex drive mechanisms. The monocoque hull design and intergated buoyancy tanks have been chosen for low-maintenance, light-weight and a more efficient manufacturing process.

The joystick-operated "drive-by-wire" controls can be operated by any of the three occupants of Aquarius and all systems information and life support data is displayed on a touch screen. The craft sustain its occupants for 2 hours underwater (plus a further 72 hour safety buffer) and the individual viewing "bubbles" provide exceptional visibility making it ideal for underwater exploration and scientific observation.

The Aquarius can travel at up to 7 knots via its 20kw thruster systems and is very stable underwater to facilitate observation and filming of marine life for recreational or commercial purposes.

A quarter scale model of Aquarius has been tested in a special Water Circulation Tank at IFREMERs (the French Marine Institute that operates the 'Nautile' deep submersible which famously discovered the Titanic) with tests confirming the maximum speed of 7-8 knots and shoowing a very low drag co-efficient.

Subeo's is basing its development in Europe and The Middle East but also has plans to expand and develop partnerships in the USA, Asia and Australia.

Visit www.subeo.com to learn more.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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