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Recreational three-person sub

By

June 4, 2004

Gemini at the BBC
Tomorrows Worlds
road show in London

Gemini at the BBC
Tomorrows Worlds
road show in London

Image Gallery (4 images)

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 Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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