DSV Alvin

Alvin (Deep Submergence Research Vehicle - DSV -2 ) is a deep-sea submarine with a length of 7 meters and a weight of 16 tons. The owner of Alvin is the United States Navy operated the submarine currently provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI ).


The submarine was at a price of 575,000 U.S. dollars from the General Mills ' Electronics Group ( Litton Industries) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, built and delivered on 5 June 1964. After a test phase, which was completed by the summer of 1965, the boat was alternately for private companies and for the Office of Naval Research of the U.S. Navy.

A prominent use of Alvin was the search for a hydrogen bomb that was dropped after a collision of a B -52 with a KC -135 tanker aircraft in January 1966, ahead of Spain into the sea (→ Palomares incident ). Next Alvin received by bizarre incidents attention from the media; so the boat was once attacked by a swordfish, also lost the boat in a collision with his mother ship a gripper arm. The most notable accident with this dive boat occurred in October 1968 in the Atlantic Ocean about 88 miles off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, as Alvin fell in preparing for his 308th diving operation. After two cables of the recording of the submarine were torn, ran water into the pressure hull of the submarine. The crew was saved in time, but the boat sank to 1,580 meters depth. Only a year later, the vehicle can be recovered using the Aluminaut. The boat was set up two years later after an extensive overhaul again.

His most effective media use was in 1986, when the wreck of the RMS Titanic was explored with his help. Alvin also worked with, as you was preparing as part of the FAMOUS project to explore the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on site. Then in 1977 off the Galapagos Islands, the black smokers ( engl. Black Smoker) were discovered. This ride is at the same time represents the first hydrothermal vents expedition

Originally, the maximum diving depth of 1,800 meters Alvin. In 1973, the submarine was, however, rebuilt and received a 5 cm thick titanium shell, so that the dive boat now can dive 4,500 feet deep. Inside, three people, the pilot and two researchers. The windows are made of 9 cm thick plastic. Alvin dive by being loaded with weights, if the dive is over, they are simply discarded and the submarine rises slowly. If necessary, the side expanding plants can be used for additional lift. In addition, the equipment can be dropped, which brings more weight than lift with it. The breathing air supplies last for about 3 days. In an emergency, the capsule may be separated from the rest of the three occupants of the boat.

Mother ship for Alvin was initially the catamaran USS Lulu ( DSRVT -1). Starting in 1968, took over this role, the USNS Mizar. Since 1986, the Atlantis II is the transport ship for the submersible.